book review

A Bookjump and Some Scottish Fun with Wee Gillis

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My recent travels to Scotland has me thinking like a Scotswoman! What better book to review and jump into than the classic Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson.These two gentlemen also wrote and illustrated another one of our all time favorite books Story of Ferdinand.

wee gillis

Wee Gillis is back in print after 20 years and I picked this up in N.Y.C. while I was at Book Expo America in 2012. The green cover caught my eye and as I quickly thumbed through the book, the pen and ink sketches brought to life the lovely landscape of Scotland in a very lovely and simple way.

Wee Gillis

I was not prepared for what would happen when the book arrived home. This little gem of a story captured our hearts and won us over. Here’s a recap of this delightful story:

Wee Gillis is an orphan who lives in Scotland.

Half of the year he spends with his mother’s family in the lowlands, and the other half he spends with his father’s family in the highlands. While in the lowlands he herds the cows by calling to them. In the highlands he stalks stags from outcrop to outcrop holding his breath and walking as quietly as possible, not making a sound.

The day comes as he nears adulthood that he should pick if he will live with his mother’s family in the lowlands, or his father’s family in the highlands. As everyone is pulling Wee Gillis in opposite directions, but he stays completely calm and resolute in the fact that he loves both sides of his family no matter where they live.

In the end it is music which solves the problem. After calling in the cows, and holding his breath as he was stalking stags, Wee Gillis ended up playing the largest bagpipes in all of Scotland. I won’t tell you who he ended up living with but I will tell you that this is a story about being who you are out in the world, excepting people for who they are, and learning that the tasks one does today may lend themselves to teaching important skills for the future.

Have you read Wee Gillis? What did you think?

Somethings To Do

The very first thing we did was use one of our cookie molds to make ourselves some Scottish shortbread.

Scottish Shortbread Recipe

Scottish Shortbread


Would you like to learn a little bit more about Scotland. Have a look at the following links:

Edin burgh Castle

Would you like to learn more about Scottish Tartan? Have a look at the tartan finder to see if you can find your family tartan and have a go at weaving your own.

Would you like to learn how to play the bagpipes? Have a listen and then go learn how.

Have a look at some long-haired cows or some stags.

wee gillis1

Would you like to do a little weaving of your very own?

Paper weaving

Enjoy this virtual trip to Scotland!

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3 thoughts on “A Bookjump and Some Scottish Fun with Wee Gillis

  1. Very cool! We went to Scotland for a couple of week when we lived in London, and we LOVED it! I can’t wait to try some of these activities with my kids.

  2. For what age group would you recommend Wee Gillis? It’s definitely going on my Christmas list this year, but I’m undecided as to which group of nieces and nephews should receive this treasure.

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