Scuabtha Chun Siúil

This rhyming picturebook reads as if it was originally written in Irish such is the skill and confidence of the translator, Gabriel Rosenstock. In this romp, the witch acquires such a coterie of benefactors that her broomstick collapses under their weight. Disaster looms when Donncha Dragan casts his fiery breath in her direction. Luckily her resourceful friends come to her assistance again and scare off the dragon. In due course she says the magic words and out pops a state-of-the-art broomstick which bears them all off into the night sky. This translation of Julie Donaldson’s Room on the Broom is humorous and robust. The Irish is both simple and natural and would be attractive to an under-8 Irish speaker. Bhí cat ag an gCailleach/ Cailleach an hata /Ní srón a bhi uirthi/Ach saghas éigin fata. When asked by the frog for a ride on her broomstick her spirited reply is: Eitilt linn, ab ea? /Ambaiste! Ní miste! It sounds great read aloud. The Irish language version of the books sits very comfortably with Axel Scheffler’s rural landscapes. A lovely book but one which shares the problems of many Irish language books. By the time the majority of Irish children can understand it, they will have outgrown the content.