The Secret of the Kelpie by Lari Don


The Secret of the Kelpie by Lari Don

Every loch in Scotland, however beautiful, has its cold, dark depths. And every loch in Scotland has its kelpie. But it's easy to forget those dangers on a sunny afternoon... Flora is playing with her brothers and sisters by the loch when she notices a stunning white horse. While her siblings clamour for a chance to ride the beautiful animal, Flora is worried. Where has this strange horse come from? Why are its hoof prints wet? Too late Flora realises this is no horse! It's a kelpie: a shape-shifting water horse from Scottish folklore known to steal children. Can Flora reveal the secret of the kelpie in time to save her family? The kelpie, once a lesser-known creature of Scottish mythology, is now enjoying legendary status as Andy Scott's magnificent Kelpies statues have become a world-famous tourist attraction. The classic tale of the kelpie is wonderfully retold for 4-7 year olds in this gripping adaptation by renowned Scottish children's author and storyteller Lari Don, with breathtaking illustrations by artist Philip Longson.


'A wonderful re-telling of the traditional Scottish folk tale. The language is very accessible and the hushed earth and water colours of the illustrations perfectly capture the impact of the Scottish landscape and the drama of the story. Ideal for storytelling.'

--Carousel, Annie Everall

'The story is haunting, and along with its lovely, detailed illustrations, it captures the look and feel of Scotland perfectly. '

--Goodreads, Barbara '... The author uses elements of various traditional versions and acknowledges several collections of Scottish tales as source material. But Don makes her story far gentler than many.

'The illustrations are very pretty and fun, and are an exciting part of the story.'


'Beautiful books which are a great introduction to the folklore genre... Wonderful stories which will give children a real sense of Scottish culture.'

'A traditional Scots tale served up both fresh and freshly illustrated.'

'The illustrations are very pretty and fun, and are an exciting part of the story.'


'With swirling lines, soft earthy colors, and dramatic compositions, Longson's illustrations capture the beauty of the natural world as well as the ominous undertones of the tale. A haunting picture book with a stouthearted heroine.'


About the Author

Lari Don

Lari Don is an award-winning author and storyteller who loves sharing traditional tales from all over the world. Lari was born in Chile, and brought up in Scotland and now lives in Edinburgh with her family. She has worked in politics and for the BBC, but now spends her time passing on old stories and making up new ones. She is a traditional storyteller, as well as an award-winning children’s author; her fiction is inspired by her love of myths, legends and fables.

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Book Info


32 pages


Lari Don
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Kelpies an imprint of Floris Books

Publication date

17th March 2016



Publisher Profile

Kelpies an imprint of Floris Books is an imprint of Kelpies


Kelpies Books celebrate quality children’s books with brilliant authors, engaging stories and a Scottish twist! They create books that capture children’s imaginations at all ages. Under 6s will have loads of fun with Kelpies picture books, 9 to 12-year-olds will be whisked away by Kelpies and young teens will be gripped by KelpiesTeen novels.

Follow @DiscoverKelpies on Twitter or find them on Facebook at

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