7 Cornish Children’s Books to Read

September 14th, 2020

If you sadly haven’t been able to visit Cornwall this year, or you’ve recently enjoyed a Cornish getaway and want to relive your luxury family holiday in Cornwall, then one of the best ways to do this is through books!


Let your little ones remember their fun summer holiday or get them excited for future travels with tales of Cornwall from the counties very own local authors!


Here we celebrate some of the best Cornwall-related children’s books and the incredible Cornish authors who brought these stories to life.


The Mousehole Cat – Antonia Barber

We’ll start with a classic! The Mousehole Cat is a beloved children’s illustrated book from Antonia Barber that tells the tale of Tom, a fisherman, and his cat Mowser.


The pair brave the rough seas to catch fish to save the starving people in Mousehole village during a hard winter. The story is based on Tom Bawcock, a legendary Cornish figure who is celebrated each year on Tom Bawcock’s Eve (23rd December) in Mousehole.


The book has since been adapted into a film, puppet show and stage production.


Soggy the Bear – Philip Moran

One for the little ones, the Soggy the Bear series of illustrated stories from local author Philip Moran are set in St. Ives. You’ll spot lovely scenic illustrations of the St. Ives area from Michael Foreman throughout the books about Soggy the Bear’s adventures.


If you pay a visit to St. Ives, then you may even spot Soggy himself while walking around!


The Mermaid of Zennor – Charles Causley

Poet Charles Causley retells a classic Cornish folktale in this version of The Mermaid of Zennor.


As the legend goes, a mysterious woman came to the church in Zennor and wowed the churchgoers with her beauty and singing – and it’s believed she was a mermaid!


This is the perfect book to read if you are planning a trip to the church in Zennor – St. Senara’s Church – where you can also find the Zennor Mermaid Chair, a beautiful carved bench depicting the mermaid from the legend.


Percy Pengelly and The Wibble-Wobble – Jenny Steele Scolding and Andy McPherson

This charmingly illustrated children’s book depicts the stunning Cornish landscape and uses Cornish dialect throughout this tale of Percy Pengelly, a tightrope walker who looks for a job in Cornwall!


This fun story has also been turned into a live-action production performance!


The White Horse of Zennor and Other Stories – Michael Morpurgo

Although Michael Morpurgo is not a Cornish author, the former children’s Laureate definitely deserves a special mention for his books set in Cornwall.


Perfect for slightly older children, who are more confident at reading alone, The White Horse of Zennor and Other Stories is a selection of five short stories set in the village of Zennor.


Another honourable mention goes to his book Why the Whales Came, which is set on the island of Bryher in the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall.


Deep Water – Lu Hersey

Deep Water is a novel set in Cornwall using elements of local myths to craft a paranormal mystery. Aimed at readers 12 and over, this novel can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Discover the family secrets of main character Danni in this dark and mysterious story.


Captured! The Incredible True Story of Thomas Pellow – Craig Green

A retelling of the incredible tale of Thomas Pellow aimed at older children. The true story of Thomas Pellow follows the Cornish boy as he was kidnapped by pirates and managed to escape 23 years later to make his way back home to Cornwall!


This version by Craig Green and Oliver Hurst has stunning illustrations that bring the story to life.


There are so many incredible children’s books set in Cornwall – both stunning illustrated picture books and novels for older readers – these are just a small selection of the stories available!


If there is a children’s book set in Cornwall that your little one loves, that we haven’t mentioned, then please leave us a comment over on our Facebook page!