ONCE UPON A PLACE by Eoin Colfer

ONCE UPON A PLACE

edited by , illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 14
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An opening note from Colfer identifies this anthology as his project as (former) Laureate na nÓg to bring Irish children’s literature to Ireland and abroad.

As such, children this side of the pond will find some unfamiliar authors among others better known in the U.S. Whether story or poem, 17 works in all, place is center stage. Judging by some of the themes that carry through the collection—preternatural occurrences, memory, ghosts, family, loss, and, most of all, transformation—readers may well assume that that place, Ireland, has also shaped the sensibilities of the talents. Some pieces are easily digested, such as Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick’s “Gren’s Ghost,” wherein two boys, unlikely partners, stage a prank in an ancient priory and one emerges with a new identity, or Colfer’s contribution, “The Ram King,” in which the daughter of a king fearlessly takes control of her own fate. Other image-rich pieces will be picked apart over a lifetime, such as a stranger’s heartfelt relief in “Bus Stop,” by Pat Boran, or a soul’s voyage in “Stream Time,” by Oisín McGann. Unsurprisingly, most of the characters are white, but Patricia Leyden acknowledges Ireland’s growing multiculturalism with a story about a Japanese ghost. Under Colfer’s editorial hand, pieces flow flawlessly from one to the next. Illustrator (and the new Laureate na nÓg) Lynch’s charcoal illustrations not only capture settings, but gorgeously evoke emotion, whether tender, playful, searching, or searing.

An eclectic collection for adventurous readers. (foreword, contributor bios) (Anthology. 11-14)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-910411-37-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Little Island/Trafalgar
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2017




MORE BY EOIN COLFER

ChildrenTHE GAUNTLET by Eoin Colfer
by Eoin Colfer
ChildrenIMAGINARY FRED by Eoin Colfer
by Eoin Colfer
ChildrenTHE HANGMAN'S REVOLUTION by Eoin Colfer
by Eoin Colfer
ChildrenTHE RELUCTANT ASSASSIN by Eoin Colfer
by Eoin Colfer

MORE BY P.J. LYNCH

ChildrenPATRICK AND THE PRESIDENT by Ryan Tubridy
by Ryan Tubridy
ChildrenMYSTERIOUS TRAVELER by Mal Peet
by Mal Peet

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS by Stephanie Perkins
by Stephanie Perkins