Itchy Coo Books

Itchy Coo is an imprint dedicated to publishing Scots language titles for children and schools. It began as a collaboration between three writers (myself, James Robertson and Matthew Fitt) and an Edinburgh publisher in 2001, and received Lottery funding from the Scottish Arts Council to publish its first range of titles. The imprint is still in existence, but all of my own titles in the series are now out of print. For this reason, I am republishing some of the texts here.

For the early history of Itchy Coo, see the Happy Birthday, Swatch! page, and also the following articles:
‘Mindin the Mither Tongue’ (Scotsman, 17 August 2002)
‘Scots Language for Schools’ (Contact Magazine, October 2002)


Sweetieraptors (2003)

‘Rennie’s rhyming couplets are great fun to read aloud and Lacome’s charming illustrations make the meaning clear, even for non (or lapsed) Scots speakers.’ (Scotsman, Hottest Reads for Summer, 2003)

Sweetieraptors is a poem about dinosaurs with names based on Scots words, such as the Birlosaur, Dreichosaur and Wheechosaurus. The book (with illustrations by Julie Lacome) is now out of print. An early version of the poem was published in a booklet called The Swatch (2000), which was brilliantly illustrated by bairns from Seabeach Nursery in Portobello. I have included some of their drawings in the Teachers’ Notes below. You can also view them in the picture gallery on the Happy Birthday, Swatch! page.

Download the full text of Sweetieraptors. Download Teachers’ Notes and Glossary.

Animal ABC (2002)Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 12.49.28
**Winner of 2002 TES/Saltire Society Prize for Educational Publications**

Animal ABC: a Scots Alphabet (with illustrations by Karen Sutherland) is a Scots alphabet book which introduces bairns to simple Scots words through alliterative phrases, such as birlin bears wi big bahoochies and feart flamingoes in a fankle. It was also published in a smaller format, as Wee Animal ABC. As both versions are now out of print, I am publishing the full text here (minus original artwork), so that it can be used as a prompt for children’s own illustrations.

Download the full text of Animal ABC.

For details of other titles, see the separate pages for Hoose o Haivers and Planet Books on this website.