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Book Review: The King with Horse's Ears

Yep, I read a book entitled The King with Horse's Ears. Actually, it's The King with Horse's Ears and Other Irish Folktales. The collection is retold by Batt Burns, and illustrated by Igor Oleynikov. Which was strange, given that you have a Russian illustrating Irish tales, but, hey, it's not my job to pick illustrators!

Well, what do I think of this book? It's a good book. (twitter-enabled review-fits in character limit).

Actually, I did enjoy reading through this book. It's part of a series of Folktales of the World put out by Sterling Publishers.

I'll say from the start, I can't say if this collection is true to Irish Folktales as told by Irish grandparents from memory. I'm not Irish. But after reading Batt Burns' retellings of these stories, I kind of wish I was. The stories are short enough to make for good bedtime story, but not so long that interest falters. There are pronunciation keys for the dialect words within the story, although I doubt I read them quite right. The stories, like any good folktales, come back with good morals about strengthening your family or helping your friends, and, generally, are uplifting.

Just to let you know that I wasn't finding fault with Igor Oleynikov as illustrator, I found his pictures really brought the stories to life. Especially in the tale of the Pooka, his illustration helps show a creature that is reasonably scary, but also fits with what the tale tells of the mythical creature. All in all, excellent stories to pass on, and a reasonable start to learning parts of Irish culture.

I look forward to reading more from the Folktales of the World Series.

Doug

Comments

  1. Have you heard about the new book coming out- it's called "Barakio" .
    It's about a king who, each time he decided to bail out a failing company with taxpayer money, His ears grew!
    He eventually lands on the cover of "MAD" magazine.
    (not talking about any current or former president, of course....)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's just not right...

    It is interesting that there are multiple stories around the world about kings with animal traits. King Midas get's donkey ears, you have this tale of the King with Horse's Ears, and there are others.

    Then you see Nebuchanezzer in Daniel, and he is punished by God to eat like the wild beasts and basically live that life. Leads to wondering about the source of legends? Most people agree legends have truth behind them...

    ReplyDelete

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