A Braw Brew (Book Review)

Author: John Erskine

Date: 1997

Source: Ullans: The Magazine for Ulster-Scots, Nummer 5 Simmer1997

Liz Nevin and Pete Fortune (eds). A Braw Brew: stories in Scots for young folk, Newton Stewart (Penninghame Schoolhouse, Newton Stewart DG8 6HD); Dumfries (12 Hillview Drive, Dumfries DG1 4DS): Watergaw, 1997. x, 149p. ISBN: 0-9529978-0-0. £6.99. (Cassette also available).

Quhitwey maun we help oor weans an young fowk tae larn wor leid? We can taak tha leid til thaim, nae doot, an we can taak til thaim aboot tha leid. Thai cannae read muckle in tha leid, bot. We can gie thaim tha poems o tha makars at scrievit tha leid twa hunner zeir syne, bot at’s no eneuch. We maun hae scrievins at’s scrievit theday fer tha fowk o theday. Quhar dae we get thaim bot, forbye Ullans?

Weel, at’s no a hechle oanie fer tha Scoatch fowk in Ullister. Wor freens owre tha Sheuch hae sic adaes thairsels. Sae quhit hae thai daen tae gie a heft til scrievin in tha leid? Weel, thai hae furthset thir buik, A Braw Brew, twennie-thie stories in Scotch bi twennie-thie scrievers fer ‘weans o aw ages’. Tha redactors, Liz Nevin an Pete Fortune, luikit aaquhar bot cudnae finn stories fer young fowk ava, sae tha pit oot fer stories fae fowk at thai kent wis scrievin tha leid. Thai axt thaim fer:

yin: stories fir weans o 10-14 year auld

twa: stories in an easy accessible Scots

thrie: modrin, contemporary themes

Daed thai get thaim? Ay, thai daed, an here ye hae a gowpenfu o stories at’s aa differnt: sairious stories, funnie stories, stories at’s nae mair nor twathie paiges, langr stories, stories fer weans an stories fer young fowk at’s bagger nor weans. An guid stories? Ay, an modrin anaa. Weel, no aa ‘modrin’: thar’s a faerie storie bot wi a gey modrin ennin; yin scriever minds tha days he wis a wean on tha croft bot it hauds ye fae tha stairt; an yin’s a storie fae days tae cum — anent Glesga FC playin fitbaa agin Madrid!

Thar’s a wee play anent a bogle (genie) in a bott’l o Irn Bru. Thar’s stories o young fowk at haesnae thängs aisy at scuil an hame; stories o differnt thängs at weans gets up til; an a wheen o ither grann stories anent aulder folk forbye. An thar’s twathie stories at’s mair scrievit in Inglis nor in Scots — bot ye maun read thaim yersel til see fer-quhy.

Thar’s stories at ye’ll tak tae mair nor ithers, an thar’s stories at A tuk tae masel at aiblins ye’ll no thänk sae guid. Is at no quhit sic a gaitherin o scrievins as thir yins is aa aboot bot? An twa o tha best stories wis scrievit bi Liz Nevin an Pete Fortune — tha redactors thairsels.

An quhit o tha leid? It’s no aa scrievit tha yin gate. An it’s no aa scrievit in stennart Scoatch. Tha scrievers yuises tha Scoatch o thair ain airts — fae Orkney til Gallawaa. Sum yuises Scoatch at’s mair fu nor ithers an tha scrievins is no aa spelt tha yin gate — sum yuises ‘and’ an no ‘an’; sum enns tha verbs in -ed an no -it, an sum yuises I an no A. Cud ye follae it, bot? Ay, ye cud, fer tha redactors axt tha scrievers tae gie thaim stories at wis in ‘easy accessible Scots’. An tha mair sum bäts luiks mair Inglis nor Scoatch, gin ye read it oot it souns Scoatch aa richt. An gin ye dinnae ken sum o tha wuirds, thar’s a leet o wuirds at tha enn o maist o tha stories — oanie A kent sum o tha wuirds at wis in the leets bot thar was a wheen at A didnae ken at wisnae in tha leets!

Sae, gin ye’re luikin stories fer young fowk tae read — at hame or in scuil — ye cudnae dae better nor stairt wi A Braw Brew. Tha bulk’s weel prentit wi siller fae tha Dumfries an Galloway Cooncil an it’s no owre dear. We maun gie wor thenks til Watergaw fer the buik at thai hae furthset an tae Liz Nevin an Pete Fortune fer tha darg thai hae wrocht.

hechle — problem, leet — list, redactor — editor

John Erskine



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