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Serving Up Neeps and Tatties for the Bairns

Nil by Mouth this week launches ‘Neeps and Tatties’, a Scots book for use in primary schools across the country in the lead up to Burns Night on the 25th January.

Written by author Carey Morning and illustrated by Anna York ‘Neeps and Tatties’ tells the story of two warring vegetable tribes who are finally encouraged to put the past behind them in the interests of a better future. The book deals with issues like discrimination and prejudice, highlighting how old grievance can be overcome by a new generation seeking tolerance and change.

Copies have already been donated to more than 200 schools across Scotland with the charity highlighting Burns Night as the perfect opportunity for teachers’, parents and pupils to share the story together and talk about the issues it raises. Given the current lockdown restrictions the Scots Language Centre have kindly placed a free downloadable copy of the book on its website to maximise the opportunity for people to enjoy this delightful new book with a very powerful message. You can download your copy here:

The team behind the book hope it will not just encourage children to think about overcoming division but also give them a greater appreciation and understanding of Scots with a glossary being provided for those new to some of the words used.

A simple teaching resource for use at home by can be obtained by e-mailing us at

Nil By Mouth’s Dave Scott said: ‘There has been a huge surge of interest in Scots in the last few years and when Carey offered us her work, we felt there was a real opportunity to tell a powerful story in this rich and beautiful language. So much of our work deals with how language and words can be used to hurt or belittle others from a different background. That’s why its brilliant to be able to celebrate language and the many different ways we have to express ourselves. We are keen to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy the wonderful words and illustrations and that’s why we are making it freely available to download during lockdown to allow parents to use it for home schooling In the run up to Burns Night. This is a story about the need to pull together in difficult and we are hoping this book helps capture the mood of Scotland during these remarkable times

Author Carey Morning said: ‘When I offered ‘Neeps and Tatties’ to Nil by Mouth, in the hope that they might be able to use it in their work with kids. I couldn’t have imagined what a wonderful, expansive project would ensure. It is a deep joy for me to witness the message and language of the story and the beautiful illustrations of Anna York, being taken up so enthusiastically by so many teachers, and is no small delight to be part of this work of healing in our divided world.


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