The Wayward Haggis
by Helena Edwards Bishop
Illustrated by Franklin Bishop
Carnation Books

"They were small with short legs, rounded, yellow furry bodies with bright brown eyes, black noses and huge floppy ears, which had brown and white stripes. Their slender tails had a white, fluffy tip. Now Haggis were very proud of their tails."

Wikipedia states that, according to Scottish folklore, a Haggis is a small animal that has two legs shorter than the other two so that it can stand on the steep Scottish Highlands. This description and the cute little Haggis family in this delightful story are much more appealing than the real thing. Unless, of course, you enjoy eating sheep organs cooked in the critter's own stomach.

Helena Bishop has created the kind of story that I enjoyed reading to my children. One that allows you to get silly with the character voices while providing a good teaching opportunity at the end.

In this case we have Scarpy, the little scamp Haggis, who decides to explore the world outside of his family hovel while his parents are away. Of course he runs into trouble and has a very close call with a farmer and his dog. Though he escapes with his life, he loses the white fluffy tip of his tail. When the family decides to go back to the farm to retrieve the fluffy tip, their lives take a turn for the worse. Bishop ties the story up neatly and provides a connection between folklore and history.

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