She has become one of the most iconic children’s characters of all time. And now Peppa Pig has developed a Scots twang.
Peppa’s Bonnie Unicorn – translated into Scots by school librarian Thomas Clark – has just hit the shelves, and it’s expected to be a Christmas best seller.
Scottish Borders-based Thomas, 39, who works at Hawick High School, has already translated Jeff Kinney’s best-selling Diary of a Wimpy Kid. His version won the Scots Language Awards Scots Bairns’ Book of the Year accolade last month.
Realising there was little Scots literature for younger children, he decided to tweak Peppa’s dialect.
Thomas, a member of Oor Vyce, which lobbies the Scottish Government to promote Scots language, said: “There are lots of Scots book translations for teenagers, like Harry Potter and Roald Dahl, but I noticed there’s nothing for pre-school kids, which is really the generation we should be promoting Scots to.
“Peppa was the obvious choice as she’s one of the biggest icons for that age group. Mention Peppa to any four-year-old and they’ll fall over themselves with excitement.”
Thomas, who four years ago became the first poet in residence at Selkirk Football Club, has littered the story with “jings”, “bonnie” and “belter”, and has even given the unicorn a Scots moniker, Cuddy McTwinkle-Toes.
“It’s just a bit of fun,” he said. “And it was quite easy to do. Peppa is all about family and home and that’s the nature of the Scots language.
“I’ve always been passionate about books. The local library in Hamilton where I grew up was my refuge as a child.
“And they’re often the best means of relaying messages to the younger generation.
“It seems fitting that I’ve ended up working in a library – and now I’m writing books.
“Moving to the Borders has increased my love of Scots. Everyone speaks it here – and its infectious. I only hope with the help of Peppa I can open it up to a wider audience.”
Peppa’s Bonnie Unicorn, published by Black and White, is out now