Katie Morag author Mairi Hedderwick wins first Scottish Book Trust Award

Mairi Hedderwick and Katie Morag girl
Image caption Mairi Hedderwick's Katie Morag books were adapted for a BBC TV series starring Cerry Campbell

The author of the Katie Morag children's books has received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the inaugural Scottish Book Trust Awards.

Mairi Hedderwick wrote and illustrated the hugely popular series of books, which were turned into a BBC TV series.

The awards will be given annually to one author and one learning professional who have had "an inspiring impact on young readers in Scotland".

Also honoured at this year's event was school librarian Susan Morton.

Mairi's Hedderwick books have been popular with children for more than 30 years and been translated into six languages.

She has written or illustrated more than 30 titles for children, including her most famous creation Katie Morag.

'Captured the imagination'

The author said: "Being given this award has been very good for me because I have sometimes put my head in the sand about the phenomenal success of Katie Morag and this very special event has made me face up to the fact of how important and key she is to the culture of Scotland, the country I love. I am so, so lucky.

"To be given this special award is definitely the crème de la crème icing on my cake. I promise to share a slice, or maybe two, with Katie Morag."

The Scottish Book Trust Award for Learning Professional was awarded to Susan Morton for the "significant impact she has had on her school community".

Ms Morton has been the school librarian at Inverclyde Academy for a year, and the award organisers said she had transformed attitudes towards books and reading among the pupils there.

Marc Lambert, chief executive at Scottish Book Trust, said: "Mairi has captured the imagination of children across the world with her beautiful stories and watercolours.

"The character of Katie Morag is a beloved part of Scottish culture and Mairi's strong support of nurturing quality writing, while her own work inspires readers, makes her so important to the literary landscape in Scotland."

He added: "From one room in a school, Susan Morton has shown the huge impact a motivated and creative learning professional can have on a whole community.

"Susan is an outstanding example of the wonderful work being done by many teachers and librarians across Scotland in nurturing a culture of reading for pleasure."

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