Thursday, 21 June 2018

DELIGHTFUL KIDS BOOKS | ISLA & PICKLE BLOG TOUR | Inspiration from the Scottish Landscape...

Hey guys, and happy Thursday! Today I am so happy to be back with another feature for my Delightful Kids Books segment, this time to celebrate the publication of another wonderful children's book. Today the book in question is Isla & Pickle: The Highland Show, which is a gorgeous story about a little girl and her Shetland pony, who are going to be taking part in a competition at the Highland Show. Everything seems to be going to plan, except when the day of the competition comes, Pickle can't seem to be able to stay out of mischief...

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...

Isla and her best friend Pickle, an adorable miniature Shetland pony, can't wait to take part in the Perfect Pony competition at the Highland Show. They practise really hard but when the day of the show finally arrives, cheeky Pickle can't seem to stay out of trouble! Isla finds Pickle just in time for the competition but the mischievous pony is stinky and covered in cake. They'll never win the Perfect Pony prize now! But maybe together they'll discover there's more to life than being perfect.


Isla & Pickle: The Highland Show is the second picture book in a new series about a feisty little girl, a cheeky Shetland pony and their adventures. They live on a Scottish island where they get up to all sorts of mischief, led by Pickle the pony, who enjoys escaping from his field and getting very messy! Perfect for any children with a penchant for ponies, this book is full of fun in the great outdoors, with bright, humorous illustrations that are sure to make grown-ups smile and give wee ones the giggles.

And today I am delighted to have Kate McLelland on my blog to talk about how the beautiful Scottish landscape inspired her books!

For author, printmaker and illustrator Kate McLelland the natural landscape is a huge source of artistic inspiration and influence. Today, Kate reveals which Scottish island is her principle source of inspiration in her Isla and Pickle picture book series. 

Isla and Pickle is my love letter to Skye and to my little sister, Emma, who I based Pickle on. 

As a child, I visited the Isle of Skye annually with my family.

We drove up from Durham and it took around 8-9 long hours! However, despite the car journey, we always got excited when we started recognising west coast landmarks as we drew closer. 

Eilean Donan castle was always a joy to see, magnificently framed against the three sea lochs. Sometimes we did a detour to Plokton - one of my favourite coastal villages. 

No visit was complete without getting stuck in the car surrounded by a herd of cheeky highland cows! 

Before the bridge was built we crossed to Skye from the mainland by ferry. 

We always stayed in Dunvegan, on the west coast of the island, so it was still an hour’s drive before we would arrive. However, there was never a dull car journey on Skye. 

My parents would play albums by Capercaillie and we would all be captivated by the views outside our windows. 

As we got closer, the roads narrowed and the scenery became even more dramatic and beautiful. 

Waterfalls gushed close enough to the road to splash the car, dramatic volcanic mountains loomed over and stunning bays were around every bend. 

To get to our holiday cottage we had to unlock a sheep gate, and from there me and my sister would run the rest of the way down a dirt track.

The cottage overlooked Dunvegan loch, which had spectacular pink and orange sunsets - when is wasn’t tipping down!

There are so many locations on Skye that I have tried to capture in my Isla and Pickle books, the colourful houses in Portree Bay, the Coral Beach, Macleod’s Tables and Dunvagan - to name a few. 

But mostly I hope I have captured how special my time with my loved ones was in the magical West Coast of Scotland.

Thank you so much, Kate, for featuring on my blog today!

Make sure you guys check out this book and the other ones in the series... Also don't forget to check out the other posts on the blog tour!


Check out Kate McLelland here: http://katemclelland.com

Until next time :)

Kate McLelland is an accomplished illustrator and printmaker. She trained in illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. She is the illustrator of bestselling picture book There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie and the much-loved My First Scottish board book collection, and has received and been nominated for a range of awards.