Sweet memories of family holidays to Scottish town inspires children's book

It has been inspired by the sweet memories of family holidays to one Scottish seaside town – and daily trips to a special ice cream shop.

Author Scott Coull with his family in St Andrews.
Author Scott Coull with his family in St Andrews.

Lily Topping's Ice Cream Sunday has been written by Scott Coull, whose annual summer holidays to St Andrews feature a daily trip to Jannettas Gelateria.

Coull, a father of three, said: "It’s become a tradition we go to St Andrews in the summer and every day we have to go to Jannettas to see what flavours they have. The children all love the place and we could never go to St Andrews without going there.

"As soon as they wake up, they are asking if we are going to Jannettas before or after tea. It wouldn’t quite have been a day if we hadn’t gone for ice cream.”

A page from Lily Topping's Ice Cream Sunday, which has been inspired by family holidays to St Andrews and trips to Jannettas Gelateria. PIC: Scott Coull/Mark Kirkham.

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Coull came up with the idea of the book during the first lockdown while making up stories with his youngest daughter, Zoe, now 8.

Coull, a sports sub-editor, said: “I have always read stories to my kids at night and sometimes I make them up and sometimes they make them up. My daughter was telling a story and she made up an ice cream flavour – I think it was rainbow flavour – which she could get at Jannettas. After she went to sleep, I thought maybe I could write a children’s book about this.”

The story revolves around little girl Lily and features a typical family holiday in the town, with scenes dedicated to familiar St Andrew’s activities, from a day on the beach to a sightseeing trip to the university. All day, every day, Lily is thinking about an ice cream at Jannettas, with her wish coming true on the Sunday, the last day of her holiday.

The book has been illustrated by Mark Kirkham, who is also known as the Edinburgh Sketcher for his drawings of candid scenes from the capital and streetscapes from the city.

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The children's book ends with one girl's holiday wish to go to Jannetta's coming true. PIC: Scott Coull/Mark Kirkham

Kirkham has brought the story to colourful life with the artist hiding little ice creams in the illustrations – from the university turrets to sandcastles – given Lily always has ice cream on her mind.

The artist said: “Its just so exciting to see it in print – a real book.

“When I first read the story, obviously I am trying to visualise it and I had all the these ice creams swirling around my head.”

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With the book created over lockdown, Kirkham incorporated the NHS rainbow into Lily’s t-shirt. As well as the ice creams hidden in the pages, he added a little dog for young readers to find.

“Kids always see these little things first, as they are looking at the page while you are reading it to them. It makes them go back more to the book and it’s likely to be read again and again,” he added.

Owen Hazel, who owns Jannettas with his wife Nicola, whose great great grandfather started the business in 1908 after arriving from Italy, said they were “more than delighted” to be involved with the book, which will be stocked in the gelateria and at icecreamsunday.bigcartel.com.

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