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TALES FROM OLD IRELAND by Malachy Doyle

TALES FROM OLD IRELAND

By Malachy Doyle (Adaptor) , Niamh Sharkey (Illustrator)

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-902283-97-X
Publisher: Barefoot

Seven briskly retold traditional tales are illustrated with dot-eyed, appealingly ingenuous figures from the illustrator of Tolstoy’s Gigantic Turnip (1999). The stories’ very titles are evocative: a spiteful stepmother transforms “The Children of Lir” into swans; the three sisters in a Cinderella variant are “Fair, Brown, and Trembling”; a clever, kind-hearted beachcomber frees the spirits of drowned mariners from a sea creature’s “Soul Cages”; a hero has, then loses, a chance at eternal youth in “Oisín in Tír na nÓg.” Doyle draws readers into the stories with seemingly offhand skill—“Fionnuala was the eldest, the only girl, and she was as beautiful as sunshine in blossomed branches.” He doles out generous measures of comedy, drama, romance, and wonder (and, in one tale, fiery poteen), then closes with learned source notes printed in microscopic type. An engagingly readable, and tellable, sampler drawn from a deep and still-vital storytelling tradition. (Folktales. 10-13)