PISKIES, SPRIGGANS, AND OTHER MAGICAL BEINGS: Tales from the Droll-Teller by Shirley Climo

PISKIES, SPRIGGANS, AND OTHER MAGICAL BEINGS: Tales from the Droll-Teller

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The first and title story in this collection of Cornish tales recalls the better-known ""Elves and the Shoemaker"": the Piskey who helps out in an old couple's barn stays, appreciatively, when the old woman puts out a nightly bowl of mush for him, but scampers off forever in the fine clothes she makes for him later. This version has another domestic dimension, with the couple quarreling over the matter more and more bitterly, as first the wife and then the husband rub in their points with mean ""I told you so's."" The last story is a version of ""Duffy and the Devil,"" entirely from Duffy's viewpoint--a bit less sprightly than the Zemach picture book, but a good tale yet. Elsewhere a greedy widow is foiled by nasty little creatures called Spriggans; a miner is punished for scorning the underground Knackers; a discontented and lazy wife learns her lesson when the fairies steal away her baby; a loving mother's soft heart almost saddles her forever with the ugly changeling the Spriggans substitute for her baby; and giants, sea people, and witches have their way. Climo accompanies each story with a description of the being in question and a few tips on dealing with it; and she tells them all with a fair edge and rhythm--which makes them presentable candidates for reading aloud or alone.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1981
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell