An Illustrated History of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales

Theresa Breslin, illus. by Kate Leiper. Floris (SteinerBooks, dist.), $24.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-8631-5907-7
Breslin retells 11 traditional Scottish stories about mythological creatures, love, and human-animal companionship in quietly lyrical prose. Readers may recognize some familiar story lines—“Rashie Coat” is reminiscent of Cinderella, “Whuppity Stourie” of Rumpelstiltskin—but characters like the water kelpie of Loch Ness and the resourceful heroine of “The Goshawk and the Brave Lady” (which derives from Sir Walter Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders) feel purely of the highlands. A helpful two-page glossary defines terms like bannock, guid-man, and nippit; Breslin also prefaces the stories with insights and personal commentary. Leiper’s willowy illustrations in steel grays and cool earth tones embody the blend of wild whimsy and pragmatism reflected in these tales. All ages. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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