Mairi Hedderwick’s Katie Morag featured on FM’s official Christmas card
A special festive illustration of Katie Morag will feature on the front of the First Minister's 2015 official Christmas card.
The star of the children's books, written and illustrated by Mairi Hedderwick, can be seen welcoming children from around the world to the First Minister's official residence, Bute House.
The original illustration by Mairi Hedderwick will be auctioned next year and the proceeds will be shared between four charities; Enable Scotland, Children 1st, Books Abroad and the Scottish Refugee Council.
The First Minister said:
"I am delighted that Mairi Hedderwick was able to create such a wonderful illustration for this year's Christmas card.
"Katie Morag's adventures accompanied by Mairi's beautiful illustrations are adored by both children and adults right across the world.
"Christmas is a time for spending time with those that we love, but it is also a time for thinking about those less fortunate than ourselves.
"There is no doubt that Scotland is a caring and compassionate country but this year in particular, I have been so proud of the warm welcome and kindness which has been extended to all who have come here.
"Whether it's by helping out at a charity, or having a cup of tea and a chat with a friend or neighbour who is on their own, it's important to spend some time over the next few weeks giving comfort, companionship and support to those who need it."
For the first time, special packs featuring Christmas cards from previous years are now on sale in National Galleries of Scotland shops in Edinburgh.
Part of the 2014 fundraising initiative, cards will be sold in a pack of ten and will feature the artwork of Jack Vettriano, Elizabeth Blackadder, John Lowrie Morrison, Peter Howson and Phyllis Dodd.
All profits will be split between 2014's charities; the Catherine McEwan Foundation, The Mackintosh Appeal, Legion Scotland, Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance and Yorkhill Children's Charity.
The First Minister added:
"Since we launched the charity Christmas card initiative in 2007, sales of artwork and prints have raised more than £168,850 for good causes across Scotland. I'd like to extend my thanks to all the artists, including Mairi, whose time and genorisity have made raising so much money possible."
Mairi Hedderwick is the author, illustrator and creator of Katie Morag. First published in 1984, Katie Morag has been loved by generations all over the world and has now been brought to life in a BAFTA Award-winning TV series on CBeebies.
Mairi Hedderwick has also written and illustrated many other books for children and adults, all with the backdrop of the Highlands and Islands. She was awarded an Honorary Degree from Stirling University in 2003 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to writing and illustration in Scotland.
Details of the sales of First Minister's official Christmas cards:
- 2007: John Lowrie Morrison "Snow Falls on Linlithgow", Who Cares Scotland - £10,000
- 2008: John Bellany "The Homecoming", Aberdeen Cyrenians, Islamic Relief, SCIAF, RNLI - £10,000
- 2009: Gerard Burns "A New Journey", CLIC Sergeant, Glasgow the Caring City, JACK Foundation, Mary's Meals - £7,000
- 2010: Jack Vettriano "Lets Twist Again", Charities: Bethany Christian Trust, Maggies Cancer Caring Centres, Quarriers, Teenage Cancer Trust £68,000 for original and £18,000 for prints.
- 2011: Alasdair Gray, "Bella Caledonia", Charities: CHAS, SCIAF, Glenachiulish Preservation Trust, Save Small Tribes Trust - £4,800
- 2012: Elizabeth Blackadder, "Flowers" Charities: Sick Kids Friends Fund, Dyslexia Scotland, Breakthrough breast Cancer, Scottish Steelworkers Memorial Fund - £12,000
- 2013: Peter Howson, "Artaban" Charities: SCIAF, CHAS, Combat Stress and CLIC Sargent - £16,000