Book review: Roald Dahl’s Reekin Rhymes

What’s the story?

In recent years, many children’s books have been getting rather special makeovers, taking them and translating them into Scots. For example, Roald Dahl’s The Twits became the Eejits, while JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book became The Philosopher’s Stane). The entertaining trend continues with Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, becoming Reekin Rhymes. Dahl took classic stories, such as Cinderella, Goldilocks and Jack and the Beanstalk, and put a darker spin on them, and here they are presented anew, in Scots.


The whole book is a joy from start to finish, with The Three Wee Pigs bringing childish glee to this reader’s face. Wee Reid Ridin Hood and the Wolf is a work of genius, and will have young and old alike laughing, especially if reading together.


It’s hard to say this book has any faults. This reviewer has always been a fan of Roald Dahl’s work, who had the pleasure of going back to them all – plus a couple he had somehow missed out first time around – after becoming a parent. It’s not a serious work, which makes it all the more enjoyable.


It’s the perfect read for adults and children alike. If you’re a parent, or indeed grandparent, who remembers and loves the originals, then you’ll love rediscovering the stories you know, but presented with a brand new Scots slant on them. Some will make you laugh out loud, and there’s no doubt it will make you smile, from the word go.

Click here to read a sample chapter

Reekin Rhymes Cinderella


Reekin Rhymes is nothing short of a joy. Quentin Blake’s illustrations, married with Matthew Fitt’s translation of Dahl’s original text, create a work that will bring the family together, with a good story that we all think we know, and turning it into something new. Recommended.

Reekin Rhymes by Roald Dahl, translated by Matthew Fitt, published by Itchy Coo, £7.99.

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