A selection of folktales from the British Isles.
Gathering material previously published in two separate collections, Crossley-Holland (Norse Myths, 2017, etc.) includes nearly 50 stories divided by theme: “Magic and Wonder,” “Adventures and Legends,” “Fairies and Little People,” “Power, Passion, and Love,” “Wits, Tricks, and Laughter,” and “Ghosts.” Readers will encounter familiar favorites, such as “King of the Cats,” “Tam Lin,” and “The Black Bull of Norway,” as well as lesser-known tales. The stories are told in language that is both economical and vividly evocative, with a cadence that lends itself equally well to reading aloud or as a basis for learning a story to tell orally. Rather than appealing directly to teen readers, it is likely that this book will be indispensable to educators planning folklore units or teaching storytelling skills. Castle’s (Journeys of Discovery, 2018, etc.) black-and-white digital illustrations call to mind woodblock prints, and their rustic beauty greatly enhances the book. The thorough source notes are a model for works of this type, indicating what is typically the earliest printed version of the story, its geographical origin, particular adaptations Crossley-Holland made, and, quite often, his reason for selecting that individual tale. Encompassing moods from whimsical to awe-inspiring to spooky to fantastical, this is a valuable resource for fans of northern European folklore.
A lovely, magical volume that is a must-have for storytelling collections. (pronunciation guide, afterword, sources and notes, biographies) (Folklore. 12-adult)