Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Adventures of Hamish and Mirren, by Moira Miller

One of this blog's readers picked up on the fact that our family recently took a little vacation. For the past few years we've been blessed to make a trip out of the country. Last year we visited Prince Edward Island and this fall we went on holiday to Scotland. As always, before we travel I like to scrounge for books about the country we plan to visit and read up on it. I'm always looking for picture and chapter books to share with our kids and one of the ones I found this year was The Adventures of Hamish and Mirren: Magical Scottish Stories for Children, by Moira Miller. Whether or not you or your family is traveling to Scotland in actuality or not, I recommend this read. At the very least, you can transport yourself there via imagination!

The book opens with Hamish residing with his "old mother" on a farm by a loch on the west coast of Scotland. A Big Wind comes along and destroys Hamish's hay stacks and he heads off to chase it. His journeys take him to the home of Mirren and her father and sisters. The two fall in love and marry, after which he brings her back to live with his mother on the farm. The remainder of the book talks about their various adventures on the farm with an old and troublesome witch, some mischief loving wee folk, some noble seal people, and Hamish and Mirren's own growing family. It is a delicious book of magic and hilarity and it delighted us thoroughly.

This is a chapter book with easy-to-breeze-through chapters. ear-marks this book as being best suited for readers for grades 1-2 which is silly. This book is tremendous fun for a person at any age and I wouldn't get stuck on their labeling system. We read through a handful of Scottish fairy tale chapter books in preparation for travels and this one was our absolute favorite. It is good, clean innocent fun; it is not remotely dark or scary. This book was published by a Scottish book publisher called Kelpies which is worth looking into as they have a slew of titles worth checking out!  The Adventures of Hamish and Mirren makes for a terrific read-aloud and bonus points to anyone who can read it with a Scottish accent. (I stumbled and fell but it was still great fun to try in the privacy of my own home.)

In conclusion I'll share a few random pictures that we took on our visit to the Isle of Skye which lies off the coast of the mainland. We stayed a week in a thatched cottage next to the Fairy Glen.  (Yes, it was just as magical as it sounds.) The beauty of Fairy Glen defied imagination and the photos do not remotely do the place justice. It was my favorite spot in all of Scotland and I bet you can guess why when you see these images.

Again, whether or not you ever manage a trip to Scotland, you can escape there with the help of Hamish and Mirren and we highly recommend that you do! This book is sure to engage the reader and provide a lovely time.

1 comment:

*carrie* said...

Wow! Those pictures are amazing. Nice to see you pop up in my feed. Curious where you've moved and why . . .

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