Share this

Speed Bonnie Boat

A Tale from Scottish History Inspired by the Skye Boat Song

Alfredo Belli


Range: Traditional Scottish Tales Paperback 24 pages colour illustrations 234 x 296 mm ISBN: 9781782503675 Publication date: 16th March 2017
Speed, bonnie boat,
like a bird on the wing,
“Onward!” the sailors cry;
Carry the lad who’s born to be king
Over the sea to Skye.

Join heroic Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald on their dramatic journey, in a book inspired by the much-loved Skye Boat Song.


'A simply stunning picture book... unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school and community library picture book collections for young readers.'
-- Midwest Book Review, March 2017

'The images are sweeping and yet personal, and the loyalty of the prince's followers is evident in their actions and demeanor. '
-- Goodreads

'Faithfully and skillfully illustrated.'
-- Youth Services Book Review

'A rendition more poignant than patriotic with, at least in the rhymed portions, the cadence of a lullaby.'
-- Kirkus

'Alfredo Belli [...] has captured the dangers of the sea-journey to Skye and the loyaty, comfort and hope that were given to the young prince by the spirited Flora.'
-- School Library Association

'The verses are brought to life by Alfredo Belli's atmospheric illustrations, with simple historical explanations about Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald's voyage from Benbecula to Skye, adding a welcome dimension.'
-- West Coast Review

'... this picture book is seeped in drama too. The illustrations show the power of the waves and storms, giving the whole journey the drama that it needs. It also includes a little Scottish history. This really is a lovely book but BookBairn is probably a little young to fully appreciate it so we'd recommend holding off until your bairn is school-age.'
-- BookBairn, blook blogger

Speed Bonnie Boat


Alfredo Belli lives and works in Rome. He illustrates children’s books and school textbooks on behalf of different publishers, spanning age ranges from preschool through teen. He also contributes to various advertising agencies, graphic and web design studios as an illustrator and visualizer. An all-round artist, he uses a wide-range of styles and techniques, utilizing pencils, inks, watercolours, acrylic paints, oil pastels, digital and mixed media…not necessarily all together.

read more >