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Arts / Dialect at the forefront of new children’s book launched at ‘memorable’ Mareel event

Ann Marie Anderson (left) with illustrator Dirk Robertson (right) at the book launch. Pictured in the centre, left to right, is Cara McDiarmid, Peter Stewart and Marjolein Robertson. Photo: Jonathon Bulter

A NEW children’s book is helping bairns – and some adults – brush up on their local dialect.

Ann Marie Anderson’s new book Myrtle an Meenie was given a glitzy launch at Mareel the weekend before last.

The event saw a performance from The Revellers – and photos from the launch taken by Jonathon Bulter can be seen above and below.

Photo: Jonathon Bulter

The book, illustrated by local artist Dirk Robertson, is written in Shetland dialect – giving children a chance to mingle with words such as hubbelskyu (an uproar), pheesic (medicine) and raag (disreputable person).

“I love lookin at aald Shetland dialect wirds lik ‘heksi’ – which is in Jakob Jakobson’s dictionary – dan pittin dem in vibrant rhymin books fir bairns,” Anderson said.

“Hoopfully it might bring back peerie wirds dat’s been forgotten aboot dat wis used here many years ago.”

It comes amid a drive from the charity Shetland ForWirds to promote local dialect as the group increases its social media use.

The Mareel event, which was part of a We Are Live programme commissioned by Shetland Arts and supported by the Creative Scotland performing arts venue relief fund, was Anderson’s biggest launch yet.

Photo: Jonathon Bulter

She has written a number of popular Ooricks children’s books, with the series forming the basis of an exhibition currently on show at the museum.

“Dis has certainly been da biggest book launch dat I hiv ever hed,” Anderson said.

“It wis great wirkin alongside Dirk, da actors, da Revellers an da team at Mareel.

“Gettin my producer/director hat on an writin’ lighting an sound effects scripts wis interestin. Hoopfully we pat on a memorable event fir aabody dat wis dere.”