This is a collection of Celtic tales from Ireland, Brittany, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. These are familiar stories with a slightly different telling. Fairy tales or folk tales tend to reappear in different cultures and are retold in different ways. For example, the story ‘Blaanid’s Secret’ is similar to Rumpelstiltskin – one of the Brothers Grimm tales from Germany. Growing up in Ireland, a lot of the stories about fairies, warriors and magical creatures such as selkies will ring familiar bells with young readers. It is interesting that there is so much commonality between Ireland and our Celtic cousins. The story of the ‘Red Dragon from Wales’ was a new story to me but I really enjoyed it.
O’Connor’s illustrations were colourful, detailed and beautiful. They reflected the stories perfectly, and showed a real partnership between storyteller and illustrator with both full pages and smaller illustrations which enrich the stories.
While this is ideally an introduction for more Celtic tales, it is suitable for everyone. I would recommend this book for 5-7 and 8-10 year-olds if they want to explore and learn more about their Celtic heritage.