Child of St Kilda
(Child’s Play International)– hardback
Norman John Gillies is the ‘Child of St Kilda‘, born on Hirta, the largest island of St Kilda on 1925. He was one of the last babies to be born in St Kilda.
Beth Waters researched island life at the time of Norman John’s birth. She visited the island to immerse herself in its landscape and conditions. She spoke with Norman John’s family. What was Hirta like? Where is Hirta? Why are there no families living there now? How was a life on St Kilda different from other areas of Scotland, or Britain, at that time?
Through compartmentalising her information into sections, such as ‘School’, ‘Church’, ‘What People Did’, ‘Families’, ‘Visitors’, readers are able to have a sense of St Kilda’s life. A picture book format allows the writer to extend our information through her sketches, colour palette and empathetic scene setting. We have similar glimpses in a work like The Bird Within Me
‘Child of St Kilda‘ is a fascinating account of a different way of life, in a different time within a very isolated community. The wealth of information and variety in the visual storytelling are compelling. Bookwagon is proud to recommend ‘Child of St Kilda’.
Highly commended in the UKLA Book Awards