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Scots language book for schoolchildren from anti-sectarian charity a ‘tale weel worth the telling’

Neeps and Tatties is written by Carey Morning and illustrated by Anna York.

Scots language is being used to teach children during lockdown about overcoming discrimination and prejudice.

A new book Neeps and Tatties has been launched by anti-sectarian charity Nil by Mouth, with free copies available for download.

Copies have also been given to more than 200 primary schools across Scotland, including around a dozen in Tayside and Fife, among them Craigiebarns, Birkhill and Glebelands in Dundee.

Angus-based Scots language campaigner and broadcaster Ally Heather described the story as a “tale weel worth the telling”, as it is promoted in the lead up to Burns Night on January 25.

Warring vegetable tribes

Written by Edinburgh-based Carey Morning and illustrated by Anna York, Neeps and Tatties tells the story of two warring vegetable tribes who are finally encouraged to put the past behind them for a better future.

It deals with issues like discrimination and prejudice, highlighting how old grievance can be overcome by a new generation seeking tolerance and change.

The charity says Burns Night the perfect opportunity for teachers, parents and pupils to share the story and talk about the issues it raises.

So much of our work deals with how language and words can be used to hurt or belittle others from a different background.”

Dave Scott, Nil by Mouth

Dave Scott, Nil by Mouth director, said: “There has been a huge surge of interest in Scots in the last few years and when Carey offered us her work, we felt there was a real opportunity to tell a powerful story in this rich and beautiful language.

“So much of our work deals with how language and words can be used to hurt or belittle others from a different background.

“That’s why it’s brilliant to be able to celebrate language and the many different ways we have to express ourselves.

“We’ve already had more than a dozen primary schools from Tayside and Fife snap up hard copies and we are keen to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy the wonderful words and illustrations.”

The Scots Language Centre is providing the book online free of charge during January on its website.

At the core o this smashin new buik is a vital tale o acceptance; the celebration o freenship ower fratricide, britherhood ower bigotry.”

Ally Heather

Ally said: “Nil by Mouth have gied oot hunners o these smashin books, an reached oot tae even mair schools wi digital versions.

“They will hae aa sorts o positive impacts.

“At the core o this smashin new buik is a vital tale o acceptance; the celebration o freenship ower fratricide, britherhood ower bigotry.

“It’s a tale weel worth the telling.

“It’s in Scots, which gies it mair weight, especially in the Scots hertlands north o the Tay.

“Scots is often the tounge o the hame. By makkin this story in the Mother Tongue, there’s a better chance o its message bein tane on by the bairns.”

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