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Tumshie - The Forgotten Halloween Turnip Lantern by Mark Mechan

Front cover image of Tumshie by Mark Mechan
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Our price: £7.99
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Available from 1 September. Publication date 10 September 2020

(Please note publication date moves to September from July, as a result of continued quarantine restrictions in trading in Scotland, and the UK. Everything here in Scotland is still shut.)

It's Hallowe'en! And old traditions meet the new in 'Tumshie'.

Set today in Scotland, 'Tumshie' is a beautiful illustrated story of a father and his son making old fashioned Hallowe'en lanterns and a costume like Elliot's father used to make when he was a boy. No off the rack costumes here!

'Guising', and dooking for apples and carving out a 'tumshie' (the Scots word for a turnip lantern) are all here in this colourful, illustrated book.

Inspired by the traditions of Scottish Halloweens in the past, author and illustrator Mark Mechan, who trained at Dundee's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, has created this book to celebrate when Hallowe'en was more home grown.

'Guising' (today that is 'trick or treating') and 'dooking for apples' ('bobbing for apples') and carving out a 'tumshie' (the Scots word for turnip) were rites of passage for Scottish children who needed the strength of an ox and the stubbornness of a donkey to carve that lantern. In 'Tumshie', the father explains that when he was a boy, sweets were a special treat, and a bag of monkey nuts and a tangerine was an exciting surprise. And the Hallowe'en' jack-o'-lantern' was not a huge bright-orange pumpkin but a small and very tough Scottish turnip.

We see the pair make a costume for Elliot, which is a crocodile made from cardboard painted khaki, Elliot's old bicycle helmet, green wellie boots, string and ping pong balls for eyes.

And when the time comes to go out guising, the tumshie lantern is nearly forgotten. Almost! In this happy, sweet book we see the 'guising' unfold in this story that blends now with yesterday.

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