Mairi Hedderwick, illustrator and captivating storyteller, is best known for her Katie Morag children's stories. The first of the Katie Morag books, Katie Morag Delivers The Mail was published in 1984 and, to Mairi's surprise, was taken up as an excellent example of non-sexist children's fiction, mainly because of the tractor-fixing, dungaree-wearing Grannie. 'I wasn't thinking of that at all. I'm used to women driving tractors; I did it regularly myself whilst living on the island'. But Grannie became a central character of the books, and the inspiration for her second book, Katie Morag And The Two Grandmothers.
 
The content for most of the Katie Morag books is loosely based on Mairi's own experiences: Katie's toys are those of her own children, Granny Island's Rayburn stove was Mairi's own, and the episode where Katie Morag throws her teddy into the sea is something Mairi admits doing herself - twice! As an adult!

There are now a number of Katie Morag stories available including; Katie Morag and the New Pier; Katie Morag and the Wedding; Katie Morag and the Grand Concert; The Second Katie Morag Storybook and Katie Morag's Rainy Day Book, a bumper collection of activities, puzzles and things to make and do. Mairi's latest book, Katie Morag and the Riddles, was published in April 2001.

As well as Katie Morag, Mairi has also created two stories about the mischievous character Peedie Pebbles. The second Peedie Pebbles story Oh No Peedie Pebbles, is now available in paperback and tells how little Peedie Peebles, turns the family's new home into a riot of colour as he tries a spot of painting!

Mairi was born in Gourock, Scotland in 1939. At the age of 17 she took a job as a mother's help on the island of Coll in the Hebrides. There began a life-long love affair with islands and small communities bounded by the sea.

After attending the Edinburgh College of Art, Mairi married and had two children, Mark and Tamara. In 1962, she decided to opt out of the rat race and the family moved to Coll, where she lived, in a house with no electricity, water only available from a well, and a three-mile walk to the nearest neighbour. The Katie Morag books are loosely based upon her life there.

As well as writing and illustrating children's books Mairi writes and illustrates travel books for adults. She spends a lot of time visiting schools and is always accompanied by Katie Morag's teddy who travels with her in a black bag.

   
CRITICAL ACCLAIM


'Katie Morag McColl has become a much loved character'
Junior Bookshelf Magazine

'Every Scottish child knows and loves Katie Morag'
Publishing News

'Katie Morag books have given enormous pleasure for their wonderful picture of island life'
The Bookseller

'Oh No Peedie Peebles! introduces another stubborn but loveable Hedderwick character'
Books For Keeps

'Mairi Hedderwick's skill lies not only in conveying the unusual features of Katie Morag's life but also in capturing the incidents which are common experiences for children in any community or family group.'
Child Education Magazine

'In all Mairi Hedderwick books the illustrative detail is exquisite - witty and absorbing - enriching the plot'
Books For Keeps

'Mairi Hedderwick has made the Isle of Struay one of the most noteworthy literary landscapes of contemporary fiction.'
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