IT is a worldwide bestseller told in almost 60 languages.

Now Julia Donaldson’s family favourite The Gruffalo will be read in four more tongues as publishers release versions in four Scottish dialects.

Based on a Chinese folk tale, Donaldson’s tale of the mouse that thinks its way out of danger in the deep, dark wood was originally published in 1999 and has since sold 13 million copies in languages including Portuguese, Icelandic, Romanian, Afrikaans and Maori.

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler, it has also been adapted for the stage and screen as well as numerous spin-offs, including a sequel,The Gruffalo’s Child.

Now the author’s work will be republished once again in Doric, Dundonian, Orkney Scots and Shetland Scots.

The move, by Edinburgh firms Itchy Coo and Black & White Publishing, comes three years after the companies released The Gruffalo in Scots and The Gruffalo’s Wean.

Those titles sold more than 60,000 copies between them and a spokeswoman for Black & White said the latest versions are a response to local demand.

She told The National: “It’s a natural progression to now publish new editions for Orkney, Shetland, Dundee and in Doric.

“We’re delighted to be publishing these new editions because we value and respect those dialects as part of the rich diversity of Scots, partly because of local demand.

“Bringing this work to a wider audience is what the Itchy Coo Scots language imprint is there to do, and while we have no set sales expectations for the four new editions, we are very hopeful that the huge success of the Gruffalo combined with these brilliant new editions will delight a whole new audience.”

Donaldson, who lived in Glasgow for 25 years before moving to Brighton, began writing children’s songs for the BBC before one tune, A Squash and A Squeeze, was turned into a book in 1993.

Since then she has chalked up lifetime sales worth more than £90 million in the UK, producing around one book every year.

However, she is best known for her canny mouse creation, who invents a monstrous creature to prevent woodland predators from eating him – before discovering it is very real.

The opening lines are now amongst the most famous in children’s literature, reading: “A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood.

“A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.”

The new translations showcase Scotland’s linguistic diversity, with some versions bearing little similarity to the original text.

Sheena Blackhall’s Doric version reads: “A moose tuik a dander ben the wid.

“A tod saw the moose, an the moose luiked guid.”

However, in Shetland Scots, playwright Laureen Johnson’s work reads: “Ida hert o a forest deep an dark, a peerie broon moose guid oot for a waak.

“Noo, Tod da fox tinks, ‘Dat’s juist whit A’m wantin!

“’A’ll glaep up dat moose, for A’m juist black fantin.’”

Meanwhile, Matthew Fitt’s Dundonian dialect is given as: “A moosie taen a daandir throo thi daip, derk waid.

“A tod saa that moosie an that moosie looked gaid.”

And in Orkney Scots, high school English teacher Simon W Hall writes: “A moose teuk a dander through the grimly trees.

“A fox saa the moose an thowt, You’ll feed me.”