Wee Gillis

by Munro Leaf

Other authorsRobert Lawson (Illustrator.)
Hardcover, 1959



Call number




New York : The Viking Press (1959)


Wee Gillis can not decide whether he wants to be a Highlander and stalk stags, like his father, or a Lowlander like his mother, and raise long-haired cows.

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Alastair Roderic Craigellachie Dalhousie Gowan Donny-bristle MacMac, better known as Wee Gillis, was of mixed Lowland and Highland Scots heritage, and spent his childhood caught between the two, shuttling between his Lowland mother's kin, who brought him up tending long-haired cattle, and his
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Highland father's relations, who had him stalking stags through the hills. Whether calling for the cattle, or holding his breath in order to avoid frightening his cervine quarry, Wee Gillis was always strengthening his lungs - something that would come in handy when he was finally forced to choose which path he would follow in life: Lowland or Highland.

Chosen as a Caldecott Honor Book in 1939 - other titles to be so distinguished that year include Andy and the Lion, Barkis, The Forest Pool and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - this charming tale was the second collaboration between author Munro Leaf and illustrator Robert Lawson, following upon their 1936 classic, The Story of Ferdinand. I greatly enjoyed both the story and the artwork here, appreciating Leaf's solution to the issue of mixed heritage - how fortunate that Wee Gillis' lung power will allow him to become a piper, someone who will be welcome in both Lowlands and Highlands! - and found the illustrations just lovely. All in all, this is just a wonderful picture-book, one that well deserves its recent (2006) reprint as part of The New York Review Children's Collection!
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LibraryThing member adge73
"Wee Gillis wished that his uncles would ask him to try -- but they didn't, so he just stood and looked as though he would like to."
Who hasn't felt that way at some point? I hope people will give the old-fashioned illustrations and design a chance, because this is a wonderful book.
LibraryThing member glanecia
This book was really cute! It's about making compromises, for the betterment of all. This story must be based off of an old Scottish folktale or song -- it just has that feel to it -- of old wisdom.
LibraryThing member srssrs
Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson is a classic story book. It is a story of being pulled between two cultures in Scotland; the highlanders and the lowlanders. To most this may look and feel like a 1930s story, but the theme in Wee Gillis is still very current. Wee Gillis is
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supposed to decide which culture group he will live with at the end of two years. The lowlanders to herd, or the highlanders to hunt cattle. Their is a twist at the end of the story that makes it less predictable and interesting. The art is simple, but its simplicity is what I find attractive and engaging.
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LibraryThing member familymoments
If you have Scottish ancestors you MUST read this book, even if you don't have Scottish ancestors you MUST read this book :) What a beautiful way to speak about ancient and ever present rivalry. The illustrations are an added bonus to a story that doesn't need pictures to come to live.
LibraryThing member elpowers
Great black and white illustrations and cute story about a little bagpiper.
LibraryThing member DianeVogan
ok story, great illustrations!


Caldecott Medal (Honor Book — 1939)


Original publication date


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