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Prince of Ireland and the Three Magic Stallions Hardcover – May 1, 2003
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-When his stepmother thinks her husband loves his firstborn more than their twins, she gives the Prince of Ireland a geis, challenging the young man to bring her three magic stallions, or die. In return, the prince gives her a geis of his own-she must stand at the cross by the hermit's chapel with a sheaf of oats and a needle and eat only what she can pass through the needle's eye until he returns. When his half brothers hear of the curse their mother has placed on the prince, they join him in his quest. They discover that the horses must be freely given by their owner-the young giant Sean O'Donal. Luckily, the giant is more than fond of a good story, and the prince has the good fortune to tell one that stars Sean himself. So, the stallions are freely given, the princes return home, and the repentant queen is released from her curse, too. Milligan has taken a traditional Irish tale and synthesized many versions into a cohesive and delightful whole. His poetic prose demands to be read aloud with a lilt and a brogue, and comely turns of phrase ("Then all was well and naught was ill-") beg readers to join in. McDaniels's evocative illustrations, created with Russian watercolor with graphite, add charm and dimension to the book. The mood is enhanced by foreboding skies in masterly paintings. A worthy addition to any folklore collection.
Jeanne Clancy Watkins, Chester County Library, Exton, PA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* Gr. 1-3. Milligan, who also wrote Brigid's Cloak (2002), here retells with grace and gusto an Irish folktale he heard as a child. When the king of Ireland's eldest son displeases his stepmother, she sets him a seemingly impossible task: bring her three magic stallions belonging to a young giant. The prince sets out on the quest with his two loyal stepbrothers, but they soon find themselves the giant's prisoners, dangling from his stable rafters above a roaring fire. When the prince learns that only a story can stave off the giant's fury, he tells a tale that earns the brothers' freedom and the giant's gratitude--as well as the stallions. Like Shaharazad, the prince saves his own and others' lives with a narrative that enthralls his audience. The appended author's note includes information on the story's roots as well as the definitions and pronunciations of the three Irish words used in the text. Written with an Irish lilt and a storyteller's sense of pacing, the tale has a sense of music about it that finds expression in McDaniels' graceful, sometimes humorous illustrations. The lively pencil artwork, tinted with watercolor washes, focuses on dramatic moments, and the humble details help create an inviting setting. For Saint Patrick's Day or for any day, this is an engaging picture book to read aloud. Carolyn Phelan
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