Ancient, rich, and strange, these magical and eerie tales from across Britain and Ireland have been passed down from generation to generation.
A handsome, cocky young man is swept up by a dark horseman and cast into a life-or-death adventure. A pair of green children emerge from a remote hollow and struggle to adapt to a strange new land. A dauntless farm girl finds that her fearlessness earns her a surprising reward. Dark but often funny, lyrical yet earthy, the folktales presented here have influenced our landscape and culture. This definitive collection of forty-eight stories, retold by master storyteller and poet Kevin Crossley-Holland, opens a doorway to a lost world and shows the enduring power of language and imagination.
About the Author
Kevin Crossley-Holland is a Carnegie Medal–winning author and a well-known poet. He is the author of the Arthur trilogy, including The Seeing Stone, which won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, as well as Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki. He lives on the north Norfolk coast in England.
Frances Castle is a freelance illustrator who says she is inspired by comic book art and vintage children’s books from the 1950s and 1960s. She lives in north London.
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. —Kirkus Reviews
The haunting black and white woodcut-style silhouettes by Castle add to the eerie, archaic tone. —School Library Journal Online
Retold by Carnegie Medal Crossley-Holland (Norse Myths), this collection of 48 British and Irish folktales presents both familiar and obscure tales in rich, vivid prose...Silhouette-style, black-and-white illustrations from Castle (illustrator of Space Saver) reinforce the spooky, fantastical mood, and scholars will appreciate the endnotes identifying each story’s sources. —Publishers Weekly Online
This master storyteller’s voice is strong and distinct, and his prose employs inimitable turns of phrase (“such a scowl of a night”; “the north wind pursed his blue lips and whistled”) but never at the expense of the original folktales. An appended section meticulously identifies the sources for each retelling. —The Horn Book
This book contains invaluable information to a teacher who plans to read these stories to their class. For example, the stories could be used to illustrate how myths and legends influenced the culture in this area of the world. Another possible use is to open a dialogue with the students over how culture has evolved and to make parallels to their own currently evolving culture. —School Library Connection
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