Maggie finds magic on Scottish islands

The cover of Maggie's Magical Islands.

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Book review

Arran features in a new children’s book which follows a young girl as she discovers Scotland’s beautiful, wild islands.

After the success of Maggie’s Mittens, a Waterstones’ Scottish Book of the Month, comes Maggie’s Magical Islands by author Coo Clayton and illustrated by Alison Soye.


In the gorgeous and fun-filled adventure Maggie loves to explore! And now she’s found an old map of the Scottish islands. Best of all, it has a mysterious X marking the spot. Map in hand, Maggie and mum set off. Will it lead them to secret treasure?

This book is the perfect gift for little ones all over the country whose lives have changed so much during the lockdowns and restrictions of 2020. Perhaps that long-awaited holiday abroad has been cancelled or a cheerful birthday party with friends was put on hold? But, with Maggie’s Magical Islands, readers will discover just how much there is to see and do outdoors in their own glorious country. From Arran to Skye, from Mull to Lewis, young readers will delight in helping Maggie find her treasure while exploring with her all the exciting – and sometimes unexpected – attractions the islands have to offer.

In the story, their first stop on the way is Arran where they stay in a campervan and trek across Machrie Moor and admire the Standing Stones.

The book then charts the adventures of Maggie and her mum as they ‘hop’ from island to island – encountering wildlife, experiencing variable weather conditions and dealing with a few accommodation disasters along the way! On her travels, Maggie highlights the joy of simple outdoor pleasures, along with the importance of environmental awareness: when we look after our world, nature provides us with the greatest of treasures.


Readers are also encouraged to find the red squirrel hiding on every beautifully illustrated page.

Author Coo grew up in St Andrews, Fife. She studied Education at Edinburgh University and works as a primary teacher. Coo lives with her husband and three young children, who all help inspire her work. She enjoys writing about family scenarios and combining these with Scotland’s rich culture and landscape. Together with Alison Soye, she created Maggie’s Mittens (2017) and Maggie’s Monsters (2018).

Alison Soye is a Northern Irish illustrator who recently moved from Edinburgh to London. Her artwork is inspired by nature, travel, food and the classic story and picture books she enjoyed as a child. Alison’s projects include murals, book illustrations, wedding stationery and personalised prints. If she’s not pottering around local cafés or gardens, she’ll be painting up a storm at her desk with Radio 4 and endless cups of tea!

Maggie’s Magical Islands is published by Black & White Publishing on October 27.

The cover of Maggie’s Magical Islands. NO_B42megical01