Bairns’ books come alive in dialect


Isles poet and author Christine de Luca entertained a screed of young bairns and adults alike with enthralling readings of her new translations into Shetland dialect of successful children’s books The Shetland Gruffalo’s bairn and Da Trow.

Both were written by Julia Donaldson and superbly illustrated by David Roberts (Da Trow) and Axel Sheffler (Gruffalo’s Bairn).

Christine, supported by storyteller Davy Cooper as the pirate, gave superb readings from her two books to the spellbound roomful at the old Shetland Library this morning (5th November), her inventive and vivid accounts bringing both books to life.

Over 90 parents and youngsters were through the museum doors with signed copies of the books disappearing like “snaa aff a dik”.

After her third set of readings, the self-taught storyteller said that “you have to make an effort” trying to keep young bairns entertained.

The translations she said, had not taken long to do and had pretty much tripped off the tongue, though The Gruffalo’s Bairn, being rhymed, had taken longer.

“It was a joy to do. You have a good story and really I didn’t have to do any of the hard work.”

Although the trow in the tale is not what most imagine a Shetland trow to be like, a little imagination helps to transpose the tale to the heathery hills of home.

Both books are available from The Shetland Times Shop price: £6.99.


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