Mairi Hedderwick was born in Gourock, Scotland. At seventeen she took a job as a mother's help on the Isle of Coll in the Hebrides, beginning a life-long love affair with islands and their small communities. Mairi's island world is delightfully reflected in the imaginary island of Struay where Katie Morag and her family live. As well as creating children's books Mairi writes and illustrates travel books for adults. She spends a lot of time visiting schools and is always accompanied by Katie Morag's teddy, which travels with her in a black bag.
K-Gr 2 This is the fourth in a series of ``Katie Morag'' stories and will be welcomed by fans of red-haired Katie and her warm but feisty Grannie Island. Although slight, the story, revolving around the mischievous doings of Katie's five rambunctious Big Boy Cousins who have come to visit their grandmother, should be intriguing enough to interest children. As in Hedderwick's previous books, the small Scottish Isle of Struay figures prominently in the story and is winningly captured in soft watercolors, highlighted by pen-and-ink detail. The design of the book is very appealingeach double-page watercolor stands alone, and the text is printed in various blank areas of the artwork. Hedderwick's use of precise detail in the illustrations makes the island's residents uniquely interesting, and the same careful detail enlivens the buildings, the animalseven the background weather. It will be impossible for children to flip from page to page without pausing to examine more closely the attractive pages. Barbara S. McGinn, Oak Hill Elementary School, Severna Park, Md.