An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales

This is a beautifully illustrated and designed book. Quotations from the text “sweep “over the endpapers. The illustrations, by Kate Leiper, are placed on the pages to enhance the text; there are also delightful, apt illustrations around most of the page numbers. The muted tones of the pictures suit exactly the text. The stories are retold by Theresa Breslin and include one original “Selkie” story. There are short introductions, which give the background to each story and a glossary at the end. The language is simple and would read well aloud. The traditional Scottish characters of folklore are represented in the stories including the kelpie and the brownie. The chief strength – and fun- of this book is spotting the elements in common with stories from other traditions. “Rashie Coat” is similar to “Fair, Brown and Trembling” (Tales from Old Ireland by Malachy Doyle, illustrated by Niamh Sharkey, Barefoot Books, comes to mind) and to “Cap- of-Rushes” (Oxford Treasury of Fairy Tales, by Geraldine McCaughrean and Sophy Williams) and "Who is Whuppity Stourie?". 

When I first received this book, I wondered if it would have a limited appeal, but the beauty of the illustrations, the “readability” of the text and the fun of linking the stories with others won me over. An ideal addition to a school library, which could be used to compare and contrast stories from different countries and explore the development of story.