MANACHAR AND MUNACHAR: Two Celtic Tales by Riley K--Adapt. & Illus. Smith


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Smith lays on the Irish idiom in these two hokey variations on familiar folk themes. The first follows the pattern of ""The Old Woman and Her Pig,"" but will make far less sense to a preschool audience. Here, at the end of the cumulative line, is Munachar's request to the miller: ""Going looking for the makings of a cake, makings of a cake to take to threshers, threshers to give wisp of straw, wisp of straw for goat to eat, goat to give milk, milk to feed cat, cat to scrape butter, butter to go in claw of hound, hound to hunt deer, deer to swim water, water to wet flag, flag to edge axe, axe to cut rod, rod to make gad, gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one."" But to understand why the axe says Munachar must ""get a flag to edge me,"" you must recognize the flat slab on the following page as a flagstone. And why does the flag want ""water to wet me""--or the water ""a deer who will swim me?"" and what is a gad? And why do Smith's bland sketches picture the two ""little men"" as tiny elves in this story but man-size next to the leprechaun in the next one? More to the point, why bother with such questions when more satisfying versions abound?

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1977
Publisher: Doubleday