FERGUS AND THE NIGHT-DEMON by Jim Murphy

FERGUS AND THE NIGHT-DEMON

An Irish Ghost Story
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Murphy turns his honed nonfiction hand to spinning folklore. Fergus O’Mara is good at many things, especially avoiding hard work. Every time his mother asks him to help, fetching peat or milking the cow, he has an excuse. One night, as he skips off to Skibbereen to play, he meets up with a horrible cloaked giant with fiery eyes, holding a scythe, who hisses, “It is your time, Fergus O’Mara!” Quivering and quaking, Fergus outsmarts the creature three times by calling the monster an apparition caused by garlic sausage, onion pie and stew that he’s eaten. When the Night-Demon shows him a headstone that reads, “Here Lies Fergus O’Mara, A Lazy Good for Nothing Lad,” Fergus tells him the lazy Fergus he’s after lives some 20 miles off. But from then on, Fergus is the hardest working lad thereabouts. Manders’s illustrations of gouache and colored pencil embellish the tale with just the right jaunty exaggeration and haunting humor, especially the looming perspectives of the Night-Demon as it grows larger each time, towering over Fergus. A lengthy author’s note explains how he blended elements of Irish folklore to craft this spooky yarn. (Folktale. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-33955-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2006




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