These two picture books – Tig and Tag, and The Little House by the Sea – are Scotland personified. Benedict Blathwayt has caught both the Scottish countryside and the seaside perfectly. As an older reader I don’t need the stories, although they are sweet and funny; I just crave the illustrations of this wishful-thinking style Scotland.
Tig and Tag are two somewhat naughty sheep who prefer to live in comfort with the humans, and not with the other sheep. They cause problems wherever they go, but occasionally they can be good too. Like when they chase the dog that chased the other sheep. Or silly, like the time they ran away from home to avoid having their coats sheared.
In The Little House by the Sea we meet a decrepit and abandoned house. Well, not really abandoned, as the ruins give shelter to much wildlife. Until the day Finn the fisherman turns up and gives the old place a makeover, and then comes to live in the house he’s made. What will happen to all those who used to live there?
You can find a solution to everything. And the books are very lovely.