AN EAST Ayrshire author who used Loch Doon as inspiration for her most recent book is on a mission to help children improve their literacy.

Shirley Husband was once a freelance writer for Steven Brown before she began to use rhyming and traditional Scots language to tell the story of a magical family of colourful cows, the McCoos.

Inspired by Steven Brown’s art, Shirley teamed up with an illustrator Maurice Hynds to narrate stories of the individual characters – set in famous locations across Scotland.

The most recent edition ‘Harris McCoo and The Starry Night’ was based around the clear night skies of Loch Doon Observatory.

The books have captured the imagination of children across schools in Ayrshire with both Shirley and Maurice taking the McCoo story on the road – engaging with young fans after developing workshops.

Shirley told the Chronicle: “I’ve been involved with writing the books since 2017. We took the books into schools with Steven when he was giving art talks.

“Teachers were left impressed by ‘wow’ words within the book, they said it would be great for a topic for early years literacy and we started designing workshops around the books.”

Shirley now regularly visits local schools and along with Maurice they re-invented themselves as ‘Nae Bother Books’ after Steven Brown entered liquidation last year.

Now with licensing rights, she continues to release more books and inspire youngsters.

And their education books are available for any school across Scotland.

Shirley added:” Its about inspiring, literacy creativity and being proud of cultural identity. The idea of Nae Bother Books is, ‘if we can do it, you can do it’.”