Robert the Bruce: The King and the Spider

Molly MacPherson; Illustrated by Teresa Martinez

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • History and legend, facts and fiction meet in this exciting and beautiful picture book about the life of Scottish King Robert the Bruce
  • Outlaw King, a Netflix movie about Robert the Bruce, starring Chris Pine, will be released in 2018
  • Retells the legend of the King's encounter with a spider which encourages him to continue the fight for Scottish freedom
  • An inspiring historical picture book for young readers with a message of never giving up

The legend of Robert the Bruce's inspiring encounter with a tenacious spider, has been adapted into a spectacular children's picture book, with stunning illustrations packed with drama and historical detail and the message of never giving up.

242 x 283 mm
Floris Books
Picture Kelpies: Traditional Tales
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 4 to 7 years
24 pages
Publication date:
21 Mar 2019
Picture Kelpies: Traditional Scottish Tales


The legend of Robert the Bruce's inspiring encounter with a tenacious spider, popularised by Sir Walter Scott, is well known throughout Scotland and the rest of the world.

Following the rebellious king's journey from crushing defeat in battle and daring escape to lonely exile in a dark cave, Robert the Bruce spots a tiny spider that refuses to give up trying to spin its web. Inspired by its perseverance, King Robert returns to the cause, eventually leading his army to victory at the Battle of Bannockburn, a defining moment in Scottish history.

Through stunning illustrations and a gripping story, packed with historical detail, children will experience the tension of Robert the Bruce's escape and the excitement of his return to victory.

This is an engaging historical tale for children starring one of the most famous figures of the Scottish Wars of Independence.


'What I enjoyed most about this book was the message that if you do not first succeed, you should always try again... This is such an important message for young children to see that sometimes you have to try many times before you are successful. I can see this story being used to open up dialogue on this topic... Perfect.'
-- Youth Services Book Review, 5 stars

'Enriches the legend for readers of all ages -- from children encountering the story of the King and the Spider for the first time, to those for whom it is a familiar cornerstone of culture... Teresa Martinez is gifted at conveying the mood of each scene as well as details of period and landscape. We especially enjoyed hunting for a spider deftly hidden on each spread.'
-- Roaring Reads


Molly MacPherson is a writer based in Edinburgh.

Teresa Martinez was born and brought up in rural Mexico, moving to Monterrey to go to school. She studied graphic design and painting before becoming a children's book illustrator. She is the illustrator of Mary, Queen of Scots: Escape from Lochleven Castle

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