The Colorful Wellies of the Hebrides: A Unique Children’s Tale

Estimated read time 3 min read

One year ago, two wildlife guides living on the Isle of Mull launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a children’s book celebrating the natural beauty of the Hebrides.

They reached their funding goal in just 24 hours, doubled it before the end of the campaign, and their idea was picked up by Edinburgh-based independent publisher Birlinn.

Now Zoë Stevenson and Lynsey Bland are getting ready to launch their new children’s book What Colour Are Your Wellies? next month which follows seabirds of the Hebrides and the colour of their feet.

The beautifully illustrated book follows Usha, a little girl on holiday in the Hebrides as she visits iconic landmarks and meets different seabirds that live there.

The idea behind the project came to Zoë several years ago, sparked by an offhand observation made by a fellow university student ‘that it looked like tysties were wearing wellies when they fly.’

Lynsey Bland and Zoë Stevenson.

‘Years later, and I remembered that little comment and thought it would make a lovely children’s book; going around and finding out what colour the wellies of the birds were,’ she said.

‘And obviously our protagonist would need a pair of wellies of her own to show off.’

She decided to bring the idea to life with the help of fellow wildlife guide and friend, Lynsey.

‘I loved it immediately,’ Lynsey said. ‘I love seabirds and the Hebrides, so I felt like I had a connection to it straight away.’

Of course, the publication of What Colour Are Your Wellies? would not have been possible without the support of the local community.

‘The fact that we managed to get fully funded in under 24 hours was thanks in part to the residents of Mull getting as excited about it as we were,’ Zoë said.

‘People are still stopping us on the street to ask how the book is going and that they can’t wait to get their copies which is just so encouraging to experience.’

The book is as educational as it is colourful. Zoë put a lot of forethought into which locations to include in the story, and then Lynsey deftly brought them to life in her illustrations.

‘We go past Tobermory, because we obviously had to sneak where we live in there, Staffa, famous for Fingal’s Cave is visited, as well as Scalpay Lighthouse and the Isle of Coll,’ Zoë said.

‘We’ve put a beautiful map in the back of the book so people can see exactly where Usha went on her journey.’

Both Lynsey and Zoë hope that their book will inspire young children to look at what is around them here in the UK and spark a passion for wildlife.

What Colour Are Your Wellies? will be officially published on 4 April 2024, available from local bookshops and online.

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