It's a mirk an' stormy day, but Lachie MachLachlan's wee house in th' heather has a pot ay porridge bubblin', so he welcomes every passerby to come awa' in. Ne'er mind that he's awreddy got ten bairns and his goodwife in the wee house. There's always room for a body more, until his poor house is burstin' at th' seams.
If you don't ken Scottish dialect, dinna fash yersel. Leodhas' translation of this auld Scottish folk song is perfectly readable for non-Scot English speakers. She includes a few recognizable Scottish words into the poem. These make the jaunty book more fun to read aloud. And for anyone who can't decipher the meaning from context she has a glossary in back ay th' book. There's also sheet music, for those wishing to sing along.
Illustrator Nonny Hogrogian's artwork (which won the 1966 Caldecott medal) melds creativity and quiet beauty. She uses pen and ink for the details, emphasizing perspective by varying the style from silhouette crosshatching to realistic faces. The Scottish heather in the background is a gray wash with splashes of purple and green.
Hogrogian's inventive illustrations are messy and bursting at the seams like the poem itself. Our hero MacLachlan's overwhelming hospitality, to his own inconvenience, is humorous and, at the same time, inspiring. It's a good reminder that generosity (though it may not always be repaid to the extent of Lachie MacLachlan's) is a wonderful thing. This is one Caldecott medal winner that we highly recommend.
But enaw abit 'at, jist reid th' tale awreddy.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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