cover image Fairy Tales of Ireland

Fairy Tales of Ireland

William Butler Yeats. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $16.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-385-30249-4

Selected by British folklorist Neil Philip from a two-volume collection Yeats edited during his 20s, these rollicking tales include moralistic lessons, ghost stories and legends about the ``little people.'' In stories delivered in a distinctly Irish lilt, Jamie Freel flies with the fairies to find his lady; the 12 wild geese are rescued by their sister (a variant of the tale told by the Grimm Brothers); and Daniel O'Rourke is flown to the moon by a crow. Lynch's black-and-white drawings and silhouetted figures suit the carefree humor or spellbinding drama variously found in such stories as ``The Soul Cages'' and ``The Horned Women.'' Although connoisseurs of fairy tales will welcome this collection unreservedly, many of its tales require prior knowledge of Irish traditions and culture, and may not be easily understood by young readers. All ages. (Nov.)