But now the adventures of Katie Morag are set to captivate a new generation as a CBeebies television series is aired for the first time next month.
The well-loved literary creation of Gourock-born author Mairi Hedderwick has been adapted into 26 episodes for the BBC by Scottish filmmaker Don Coutts and his wife Lindy Cameron.
In April, eight-year-old Cherry Campbell from Glasgow was named to play the lead as Katie Morag with filming taking place on the Isle of Lewis this summer.
The cast includes Barbara Rafferty as Granma Mainland, Ann Louise Ross as Grannie Island and Angus Peter Campbell as Neilly Beag.
But while Lewis will provide the backdrop for the television series, it was another Hebridean island, Coll, that inspired Mairi's books.
She arrived there "purely by accident" as a 17-year-old after spotting an advertisement for "mother's help" in the then Glasgow Herald.
For Mairi, it couldn't have been more starkly different from her upbringing in Gourock, Inverclyde. "Here was this way of life where you had to fill the oil lamps first thing in the morning, get milk from a cow and go to the well with a bucket for water," she said.
But even as a young child Mairi, 74, always had an inkling she would one day fall in love with island life.
"Our house looked onto the basin of the Clyde and every Friday at 9.30am a boat would go past," she said.
"I was told it was going to 'the islands' and I always wanted to go there.
"It was explained to me that, looking across the Clyde to the hills of Cowal, that's where the islands were.
"This was long before I learned to read maps, so over the hills and faraway - something dropped in very early on."
Her time on Coll was to spark an enduring relationship with that part of the world, Mairi raising her own family on a croft there.
"We had eight breeding cows and 70 draft ewes. It was an idyllic time and a wonderful way to bring up children," she said.
While Mairi has previously said she would be "quite happy if the character only remained in books", she conceded it was "high time that I let go of Katie Morag" and looking forward to seeing her stories brought to life on the small screen.
Given its target audience and geographic location, the comparisons to another BBC children's TV series, Balamory, are inevitable but Mairi deftly bats them away.
"Balamory was created for television, but this production is based on books which have been on the go for 30 years," she said.
"There was no way when I created Katie Morag all those years ago I was thinking: 'This should be made into a film or television series.'
"I loved being able to show a way of life that many urban children hadn't a clue about."
The star of the show is Cherry Campbell who was selected from hundreds of hopefuls to play Katie Morag.
Cherry impressed the casting team with her striking similarities to the character - both in looks and personality.
Coincidentally, the youngster has connections to Lewis, where the series is filmed, as her grandfather was born there and still lives on the island.
Far from a stereotypical, precocious stage school kid, the show marks her acting debut.
"I had to act a scene from Katie Morag and the Tiresome Ted," she said, speaking about her audition.
"I did the part where I found him. I stitched him up and fixed his eye. I wasn't used to it [acting in front of people] but I enjoyed it."
Cherry, who lists her hobbies as ice skating, ballet, books, beachcombing and Brownies, was first put forward for the role by her parents David and Jill.
Filming, they said, has proved a "surreal" adventure for the entire family.
"The main thing for us was to try and keep Cherry in the environment she is used to as much as possible," said Jill. "It's been a steep learning curve.
"We were anxious to see what it would all be like," she added. "As a parent you just want it all to work out and for Cherry to remain as unchanged as possible. It's wondering: will she still be happy-go-lucky? But she hasn't changed one bit."
[ITALS] Katie Morag will start on CBeebies from November 3.