Lari Don has worked in politics and broadcasting, but is now a full-time writer and storyteller. She grew up in the north-east of Scotland, and lives in Edinburgh. She is the author more than 20 books for children of all ages including the Fabled Beasts Chronicles and Spellchasers trilogy for middle grade readers, Mind Blind for young teens, and picture books The Tale of Tam Linn and The Secret of the Kelpie. Natasa Ilincic is an artist and illustrator originally from Croatia, now living and working in Edinburgh. Natasa was brought up on the foot of the Italian Alps where she spent much of her childhood befriending ancient trees and exploring ruins. Following her academic studies in Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology, she moved to Edinburgh to pursue a career in art and illustration, drawing inspiration from mythology and folklore. Her work has been shortlisted for the Folio Society Book Illustration Competition 2017, and has been exhibited in various galleries including the London House of Illustration.
'Author Lari Don tells a magical tale that has the cadence and all the earmarks of an ancient myth using a monster that will be familiar to most youngsters as the basis. The gorgeous illustrations by Natasa Ilincic will carry young readers to the British Isles through enchanting drawings that are filled with charming details. This is a real winner. 5/5.' -- Manhattan Book Review 'With a refreshing new spin on the classic legend of the Loch Ness Monster, Lari Don offers children a tender and inspiring tale.' -- Scottish Field 'This beautifully told traditional tale is based on a lake legend originating in 1883 and feels respectful and authentic in every way, from the Scottish brogues and terminology to the freckled faces and red hair of the protagonists. Ilincic's illustrations are emotionally evocative, walking the line perfectly between creating a monster that is awe-inspiring and terrifying -- especially in one heart-stopping spread, when the children first see the creature's huge shadow circling underneath their rowboat -- yet eventually gentle and maternal. The mini-adventure is as classic as something from the Grimm Brothers, while also being, somehow, entirely new.' -- Booklist 'Along with atmospheric views of the deep loch's swirling waters and long, low hills beneath cloudy skies, Ilincic crafts a particularly magnificent monster, green, scaly, and dragonesque.' -- Kirkus 'The children I was reading to were totally engaged [...] There were gasps from them at the beautiful illustrations. I think the wonderful illustrations, along with a beautifully told tale, in simple language is a triumph! I loved that Nessie was portrayed not a cartoony way, but as a very believable, life like animal, something the children could imagine actually seeing. A truly inspiring and magical book!' -- storyteller Anita Peggie, Facts & Fiction 'Utterly stunning... Amidst what can be a crowded Nessie market, this is a tale that draws on traditional myth and local folklore to create a more traditional story that is sure to appeal to children from Scotland and further afield... Natasa Ilincic's Nessie is dragon-like, almost Tolkien-esque. Her illustrations of the Scottish Highlands have just the right amount of realism and atmosphere to evoke this magical place but leave enough to children's imaginations to create their own world.' -- Lomond 'Imaginatively written and beautifully illustrated... Very highly recommended for children ages 3 to 7, 'The Treasure of the Loch Ness Monster' will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.' -- Midwest Book Review 'Beautifully illustrated in rich warm tones, Loch Ness and its wonderful sea monster come to life for the reader.' -- Youth Services Book Review 'As a seasoned storyteller, Lari's writing is whimsical and has a wonderful quality to read aloud -- you feel like a true storyteller yourself when weaving her carefully spun words. And the illustrations are a beautiful depiction of what makes Scotland great -- mystery, beauty and magic!' -- BookBairn, book blogger 'Lari Don's narrative is evocative and totally engaging as she draws the reader in to this most mystical tale. The dreamlike illustrations from Natasa Ilincic match the story perfectly, dark and fascinating against majestic landscapes. Kenneth and Ishbel's story is wrapped up nicely at the end of the book but the appearance and actions of the Loch Ness Monster are as mysterious as her legend leaving the reader's imagination free to dream up their own stories about her.' -- Acorn Books, book blogger Praise for The Secret of the Kelpie: 'The Secret of the Kelpie is a classic tale of the kelpie that is wonderfully and beautifully retold for children ages 4-7 in this gripping adaptation by renowned Scottish children's author and storyteller Lari Don, and enhanced with the breathtaking illustrations by artist Philip Longson. Very highly recommended for school and community library picture book collections.' -- Midwest Book Review 'The story is haunting, and along with its lovely, detailed illustrations, it captures the look and feel of Scotland perfectly. ' --Goodreads, Barbara Praise for the Scottish Traditional Tales: 'Beautiful books which are a great introduction to the folklore genre... Wonderful stories which will give children a real sense of Scottish culture.' -- Creative Steps