Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Back to School with Katie Morag

Today I was asked to go back to school to help out in Badgers class with painting and collage where the children were going to make their own "Katie Morag's" Iris was so excited about being allowed to join in and Daisy was the perfect older sister looking after her. Iris can't wait to start school in September.


Daisy's Katie                                                             Iris's Katie



 Katie Morag is the title character of a series of children's picture books written and illustrated by Mairi Hedderwick. The gentle stories have been praised for their good humour, strong sense of place, and for the feisty and independent character of Katie herself.

The books are set on the fictional Isle of Struay, off the west coast of Scotland. Much of the topography, and also characters and situations, are inspired by Arinagour on the Scottish island of Coll in the Inner Hebrides, the island where Mairi Hedderwick lived for a number of years, and where her daughter still runs a handmade pottery store. In the books the small island community is connected to the mainland by a ferry which initially only comes once a week, on "Boat Day" (later three times a week, after the building of a new pier in the fifth book).
Katie Morag lives close to the jetty above the island's only shop, where her mother is the postmistress and her father runs the general store. A key character in the books is Katie Morag's "Grannie Island", who lives further round the bay, and is generally found in her dungarees often driving or fixing her tractor, or surrounded by cats around her Rayburn stove, in contrast to Katie Morag's altogether more douce "Granma Mainland". Grannie Island was widely hailed, as for example "a positive image, a celebration of the strength of women, and a challenge to gender stereotyping". 

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