28th July 2022

Itchy Coo marks 20 years of books in Scots

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Children’s publisher Itchy Coo, part of Black & White Publishing, is celebrating 20 years of successfully promoting the Scots language through much-loved bestsellers.

This August, Itchy Coo will be returning to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where the imprint first launched in 2002, for a big birthday hoolie in honour of the spectacular milestone.

Hosted by actress and translator Elaine C. Smith, featuring stories, rhymes and poems, special guest appearances and prizes to be won, it’s a birthday bash for all ages.

The celebrations will also include the launch of Aesop’s Fables in Scots in August and 20th anniversary editions of the popular titles Katie’s Coo and King o the Midden in September.

Since Itchy Coo was established, co-founders Matthew Fitt and James Robertson have worked in schools and libraries across the country to encourage the reading, writing and speaking of Scots among young people. They have also advocated for the language at cultural and educational gatherings and conferences nationally and internationally.

With many more titles still planned, the pair intend to continue promoting the use, understanding and inclusion of the Scots language for years to come.

Matthew said: ‘Itchy Coo has been the most ambitious publishing project Scotland has seen in a long time. From the outset, we hoped to make the highest quality books in Scots available to our children and young people and to change attitudes to the Scots language for the better in Scottish primary and secondary schools. In our twentieth anniversary year, we can say without doubt we did both.’

James said: ‘It’s been a very busy 20 years, with plenty of ups and downs and a lot of laughs along the way. But here we are, with 80-plus titles behind us and more to come, knowing that all the hard work has brought pleasure to hundreds of thousands of children, their families and schools, and simultaneously given the Scots language a boost.’

James said In Scots: ‘It’s been an awfie thrang 20 year, wi plenty o ups and doons and a wheen o laughs alang the wey. But here we are, wi 80-plus titles ahint us and mair tae come, and kennin that aw the darg has brocht pleisure tae hunners o thoosans o bairns, their faimlies and schuils, and giein the Scots language a guid heeze in the by-gaun.’