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An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales Hardcover – September 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-6-Breslin retells 11 tales that she heard in childhood and researched in literary sources, featuring a kelpie, a dragon, a brownie, and other figures, some human and some magical. The collection begins with the repetitive tale of the wee bannock, cousin to the gingerbread man, running down the road and goes on to longer romances and quests. "Whuppity Stourie" is here, along with a Cinderella variant. Breslin seems particularly interested in independent women, and one story is an extended telling of "The Goshawk and the Brave Lady" from Sir Walter Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Borders. Well constructed for independent reading, the selections sometimes become lengthy with extended explanations, description, and conversation so they aren't well suited to reading aloud or storytelling. Each tale begins with brief commentary on its region of origin or the author's personal preference for it, but no specific print sources are provided. Leiper's drawings shaded in muted tones portray the characters handsomely in scenes placed variously on a full page, to one side of the text, or above or below it. The bold dragon on the cover suggests a scarier panoply than is actually found here, and the endpapers and matching pages to introduce each tale lend a dark and sophisticated tone with phrases in varying sizes of lavender text scattered across a purple background. Large and heavy in the hand, the book offers a contemporary introduction to Scottish lore that tends to be represented in libraries by much older, more informative collections or picture-book versions of individual tales.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Bostonα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


'A delightful and varied collection of stories from all over Scotland. Theresa Breslin's style is so compelling and chatty that you feel she is sitting in the room with you, telling you her favourite tales of kelpies and brownies, talking birds, sheepdogs and selkies. And Kate Leiper's illustrations are stunning. This is a beautiful book, which will be treasured by children in Scotland and far afield.' -- Julia Donaldson, Children's Laureate 'This is a lovely book enhanced with the most beautiful illustrations. Folk stories have not lost their appeal in the modern world -- it is books like this that will keep them alive. -- Alexander McCall Smith 'An Illustrated Treasury Of Scottish Folk And Fairy Tales is a brilliant compilation of well-kent stories by award-winning author Theresa Breslin -- but her funny, fast-witted storytelling, accompanied by Kate Leiper's otherworldly illustrations of stoorwoorms and selkies, makes these retellings special and truly new. A beautiful book. Buy it as a gift for a parent or grandparent to read to a child.' -- Julie Bertagna, author of Exodus 'This breath-taking, beautiful book is a joy to look at and hold.' -- Books for Keeps 'Just in time for the season of gifts, Floris Books have ridden to the rescue. Not only have we a fine author in Theresa Breslin, the book is illustrated in exceptional style by Kate Leiper ... Theresa tells us her stories in a strong, unfussy, clear language, just as they should be told ... If that were not enough, the illustrations are exceptionally fine. They add considerably to the enchantment of the book ... one has rarely seen a kelpie quite so simultaneously magical and powerful as in the double spread for "The Water Kelpie".' -- Carousel: The Guide to Children's Books 'It's not all Grimm. Or Asbjornsen and Moe. Now we have Theresa Breslin's An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales, fantastically illustrated by Kate Leiper ... the pictures by Kate Leiper are really something ... This time it's Theresa Breslin's turn to re-tell stories she heard as a child, or learned about in some other way. It is all very, very Scottish. (And if you are not, there is a handy glossary for Sassenachs.)' -- The Bookwitch 'This beautiful book of Scottish folklore and legends contains eleven charming stories. The atmospheric and sometimes dark illustrations by Edinburgh-based artist and illustrator Kate Leiper really bring these tales to life ... This book retells classic Scottish stories that can be appreciated by all the family, featuring tales of kelpies, selkies, brownies and the stoorworm ... The book provides a great way to ensure that these fairy tales continue to be passed down from generation to generation and ensure that they will never be lost to the children of Scotland.' -- Scottish Field Magazine 'The illustrations complement the tales, with sinuous, flowing lines and beautifully realised detail that rewards close attention... A book which would make a wonderful gift and is a very welcome addition to the canon of folk tale classics - an instant classic.' --Armadillo Magazine 'The words do not fill each page but are intertwined by illustrations so that you are drawn into each story. The illustrations are in muted colours, giving the book a real flavour of Scottish mystic.' -- Juno 'When excellent stories and lovely illustrations come together in a book with nice thick pages and delightful design, it is apt indeed to call it a 'treasury' ... Both in themselves and the inventive ways they are disposed on the page, the pictures by Kate Leiper are stunning. It really is a book to treasure.' -- School Librarian Journal '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 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.' -- Inis Magazine

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 157 pages
  • Publisher: Floris Books (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863159079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863159077
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Desiree Fairooz on December 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This gorgeously illustrated collection of Scottish folklore is breathtakingly beautiful; double spread life-like drawings in midnight blues,cloudy grays and pond greens against much white space grabs your attention to take you where fairy-folk, sheep and their shepherds, kind princesses and poor kings,wee people and wild horses, dragons and eagles abound.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deborah M. Mcleod Morris on January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
delightful book! Having a Scottish heritage, this gives a sweet feel for the Scots story telling. Love the illustrations as well. My son was so excited he said he wanted to read it just for himself first.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neem on December 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eleven stories in 155 pages. These are Scottish Folk Tales. Actually I was looking for Irish Folk Tales to use for St. Paddy's day, but when I came upon these I decided I couldn't pass it up. And it was a good choice. These stories are delightful and my girls love for me to read from the book.

I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 because I was disppointed in the number of illustrations. The quality of them is quite good. but I was looking for an illustrated book with oodles and oodles of artwork. The illustrations here are often quarter page or one item on an otherwise blank page. Not a lot of detail even in the double fold illustrations. When it comes to children's books, I believe that the illustrations are as important as the text.

I also was a little disapointed that the language of the book lacks the brogue I had hoped for. When I was a little girl, thre was an adorable little old lady who lived just down the road from my grandmother. She was Scottish from the old country. I could listen to her talk forever. I had hoped for some of that use of vernacular and was disappointed to find little of it. Some, but not enough.

Still I would recommend the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on July 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very artistic and unique book. Funny, interesting stories that really capture my kids' attention.
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