There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie

Rebecca Colby; Illustrated by Kate McLelland

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • There was a wee lassie who swallowed a midgie; I don't know why she swallowed the midgie; so teeny and squidgy!
  • Funny, engaging illustrations bring this classic rhyme to life in a uniquely Scottish way
  • Creatures include a puffin, a Scottie dog, a seal and even Nessie

A hilarious Scottish twist on a much-loved rhyme sees the wee lassie swallow a succession of Scottish animals -- all to catch the midgie.

230 x 265 mm
Floris Books
Picture Kelpies
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 3 to 6 years
24 pages
Publication date:
20 Mar 2014
Picture Kelpies


'There was a wee lassie who swallowed a midgie.
I don't know why she swallowed the midgie,
So teeny and squidgy!'

In this hilarious twist on a much-loved rhyme, the wee lassie swallows a succession of Scotland's favourite creatures to catch that peskie midgie -- including a puffin, a Scottie dog, a seal and even Nessie!

After all that, she can't still be hungry. Can she?

Kate McLelland's funny, engaging illustrations bring to life this uniquely Scottish version of a classic rhyme.


'There was a young Scottish redhead who swallowed a midge fly. We’re not sure why she did it. To catch the tiny fly, she also swallowed a slippery trout, a puffin, a black Scottish terrier, an eagle, a seal, a Highland cow, and a Nessie. She did all this without a single problem. She probably could have kept swallowing more things, but when she drank an entire lake, it finally washed all the animals out.
This picture book is a delightful Scottish version of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Told in rhyme, the story is just as silly, and the illustrations cleverly depict each stage of the cumulative in an aesthetically pleasing color scheme that is reminiscent of Scottish tartans. As an easy and entertaining way to introduce Scottish animals, this would be a great book to use with young children who are learning about Scotland.'
-- BYU Children's Book & Media Review

'The repetition and humour are ideal for reading aloud and, combined with Kate McLelland's funny, engaging illustrations, would be very popular with young children.'
-- St John's Church Magazine


Rebecca Colby lives in North Yorkshire, England, with her husband and children. There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie is her first book.

Kate McLelland is an accomplished printmaker. She trained in illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. She is also the creator of the My First Scottish series of early learning board books, and picture book Isla and Pickle about a wee girl and her lovable Shetland pony.



There Was a Wee Lassie Who Swallowed a Midgie is in Floris Books' range of Picture Kelpie Scottish children's picture books. Parents of young children might also enjoy the dedicated Picture Kelpies website. Download and print out games, colouring and jokes for your children based on Picture Kelpie favourites, and find out more about these quality Scottish picture books to enjoy together.

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