THE KING WITH HORSE’S EARS by Batt Burns

THE KING WITH HORSE’S EARS

And Other Irish Folktales
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Although he was born to the tradition, Burns’s strong storytelling skills nevertheless too-frequently just simmer under the surface of this collection of Irish folktales, which lack the full power of his wit and timing. Selections include the fascinating changeling tale, “Back from the Fairies”; the enduring favorite, “The King with Horse’s Ears”; the hero tale, “Fionn Mac Cumhail and the Fianna of Ireland”; the cunning “The Greedy Barber”; and the remaining nine, some of which are undocumented. A short, insightful paragraph of background information precedes each tale, but the tales themselves are pared down to fit the space, flattened by too much summarization. One of the Folktales of the World series, this collection of overly edited, shorter-than-necessary tales is still memorable because when the teller’s inflections empower them, they leap to life. The border art and Oleynikov’s gouache illustrations add to their charm. Folktale collections are low circulators for the intended readership, which makes this collection’s shortcomings all the sadder. (introduction, glossary, sources) (Folktales. 9-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 3rd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4027-3772-5
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Sterling
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2009




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