Scottish storiesÂ are always popular and it’s just delightful to see Kelpies launching a new Traditional Tales imprint in this Year of Homecoming. These stories form part of Scotland’s oral heritage and have been sensitively produced by three fantastic award-winning authors, accompanied by three wonderful illustrators.
The Dragon Stoorworm is retold rather wittily by Theresa Breslin and illustrated by Matthew Land. It tells the story of the very first dragon, which terrorises the people of Scotland and how a young storyteller earns the hand of a lovely princess by finding a cunning way to kill the dragon. This is Matthew’s first picture book and it is deftlyÂ done showing an eye for detail that gives the book great appeal.
The Dragon Stoorworm (Picture Kelpies: Traditional Scottish Tales) is available here from Amazon
The Tale of Tam Linn is a story (or ballad) from the Borders, freshly retold by Lari Don and illustrated by Philip Longson. It’s about Â a boy who was stolen byÂ the fairies and turned into a knight guarding the forest. The scepticalÂ laird’s daughter Janet ventures into the forest one day and meets the knight, who is surprised to learn how much he is remembered and still missed. He tells Janet the secret of the fairy queen’s hold over him and on Hallowe’en she goes to the edge of the forest where the fairy queen is marching round her lands and succeeds in freeingÂ him.Â Philip’s illustrations creepily convey the enchanted lands of the Border forests.
The Tale of Tam Linn (Picture Kelpies: Traditional Scottish Tales) is available here from Amazon
Last but not least, is the Selkie Girl, that celebrated tale of the boy who finds a sealskin on the rocks. In Janis Mackay’s story, the boy, Fergus, finds the glistening furÂ and takes itÂ home to his father, a fisherman. But the sealskin belongs to a selkie girl who follows him home and begs for it back. He asks her to stay for 7 days as his friend and then he will return it. The two enjoy their time together but at the end of the week, Fergus honours his promise and returns the sealskin. She gives him a friendship stone and although the two never meet again, the seal family keep watch over Fergus and his father and ensure that his nets are always full. Ruchi Mhasane’s illustrations portray beautifully the seashore scenery where the story takes place.
The Selkie Girl (Picture Kelpies: Traditional Scottish Tales) is available here from Amazon