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Exclusive: Alexander McCall Smith’s Brand New Precious and the Puggies

Last month, Alexander McCall Smith launched his first detective story for younger readers, Precious and the Puggies. An exciting, brand new story featuring Botswana’s Precious Ramotswe, Precious and the Puggies has been specially written by Alexander McCall Smith for Itchy Coo, and here’s the real exclusive: it will be available only in Scots in its first year of publication.

Kent tae readers aroond the world as Mma Ramostwe, young Precious must solve her very first case involvin her freend Sepo, a piece and some cheeky puggies and so become a detective. We’ve managed to sneak an exclusive little taster for you from the book below:

Whit wid ye dae if ye fund yersel face tae face wi a muckle lion? Staund as still as a stookie? Mak yer feet yer freens and rin? Creep awa quiet-like? Mibbe ye wid jist steek yer een and hope that ye were haein a dream – which is whit Obed did at first when he saw the frichtsome lion starin strecht at him. But when he opened his een again, the lion wis aye there, and whit wis waur, wis stertin tae open its muckle mooth. Precious sooked in her braith. ‘Did ye see his teeth?’ she spiered. Obed noddit his heid. ‘The moonlicht wis gey bricht,’ he said. ‘His teeth were white and as sherp as muckle needles.’
   Chapter Twa (2): Precious and the Puggies (2010, Itchy Coo)

Translatit intae Scots by James Robertson and wi bonnie illustrations by Iain McIntosh, this ground-breaking title has been published by Itchy Coo, Scotland’s own imprint which publishes bestselling books in Scots for children and young people.

We spoke to James about what the publication of this book means to him, to his company, and to the Scots language:

‘Alexander McCall Smith has shown astonishing generosity towards Itchy Coo and the Scots language by not only giving us his brand new story but also granting us exclusive rights to it for the first year of its existence. During 2010 it will only be available in Scots, although publishers around the world will no doubt be keenly bidding to produce it in their own languages, including English, in due course.

This is a unique and massive endorsement of the validity of Scots and of literature for bairns written in Scots, from one of the world’s most successful authors. The fact that the book is already heading for a second reprint indicates the enthusiasm that thousands of readers, young and old, have both for Precious Ramotswe and for their ain tongue.’

Dr Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, added: ‘Here is another wonderful coup for Itchy Coo, one of the most remarkable phenomena in Scottish publishing of recent times that has revolutionised attitudes towards the Scots language and proved it to be an expressive medium of infinite creative possibility – and indeed, universal relevance and appeal. This glorious partnership between Itchy Coo and the unique Alexander McCall Smith will prove that Scots is indeed Precious!’

For more information:
Take a keek at Precious and the Puggies and check oot Itchy Coo’s book launch photos. For more information about Itchy Coo visit www.itchy-coo.com

See also
* itchy coo
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