Scottie books for children: a walk through Scottish history

If you were to look into National Museums Scotland’s publishing department one day and found us doing word searches or crosswords – we are working, honestly!

The puzzles are for the activities section of our Scottie Books – exciting, full-colour, Scottish information books for young readers.

Scottie logo

Aimed at 7-11s, the series was first published by HMSO (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office) and in 1996 was taken over by us.

Originally the books had specially commissioned illustrations but we wanted to include pictures of museum objects and other kinds of images. So when a bestselling HMSO title such as The Jacobites went out of print we reissued it in our own style. This has gone down well. History Teaching Review said:

… the hundred or so pictures in this short booklet are superbly chosen and used.

Pages from Jacobites
Inside The Jacobites.

They liked Scottish Kings and Queens too:

 … the book features many photographs, paintings, prints, etchings and objects from National Museums Scotland and other national collections, which gives it the edge over similar publications.

Inside Scottish Kings and Queens
Inside Scottish Kings and Queens

The other original titles which continue to be popular, whether it is with schools or home readers, or in the tourist market, are: The Clans, Mary, Queen of Scots, The Romans in Scotland, and – the top-selling Scottie title – Scotland’s Vikings. Those Lewis Chessmen get everywhere …

Scotland's Vikings
The bestselling Scotland’s Vikings.

We have added new titles: The Covenanters, Flight in Scotland, Greyfriars Bobby, Robert Burns in Time and Place, Scottish Explorers, Scottish Rocks and Fossils, Supernatural Scotland, There Shall be a Scottish Parliament, Wallace and Bruce and – just this month – Scottish Environments.

Scottish Environments
New title Scottish Environments.

It’s based on a previous Scottie called Scottish Landscapes, updated to include topics such as renewable energy and climate change.

And look out! Pirate Tales from Scotland will be published in May 2017.

Pirate Tales from Scotland
Watch out – there are Pirates about!

All the books have been written by authors who are, or have been, teachers/involved in education and the series editors are still Frances and Gordon Jarvie who conceived the idea in the 1980s.

We know that adults enjoy the books too – The Covenanters and The Jacobites, in particular, explain rather complicated subjects very clearly and are a good starting point for study.

The Covenanters
The Covenanters makes complex historical topics accessible.

As well as 40 full-colour pages of words and pictures, each book also has an eight-page black and white section of activities, lists of websites and places to visit, plus those puzzles I mentioned earlier…

And did you know that NMS Enterprises Ltd – Publishing (to give our full title) has a backlist of over 60 books for adults? Check them out at

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