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The Ring of Truth: An Original Irish Tale Hardcover – March 1, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
"Epitomizing the best of Irish storytelling, this blithe debut pokes fun at its own blustery genre," said PW. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-6?A charming read-aloud, particularly for St. Patrick's Day. Patrick O'Kelley is a peddler who never tells the truth when a lie will do. When he boasts of his grand blarney-spouting abilities, the King of the Leprechauns decides to teach him a lesson. He brings Patrick to the land of the Little People and presents him with an emerald ring that forces him to speak only what is true. This causes problems not only for Patrick's gift of gab but for his customers who were used to the peddler's flattering ways and walloping yarns. Eventually he is coerced into performing in the famous Blarney Contest and, of course, he can only tell the truth?the account of how the magical Leprechaun king appeared to him in a hall of crystal and gold, arriving on four tiny ponies and gave him the enchanted ring. This outlandish though accurate story is judged the "biggest pack of blarney" ever and the sheepish man actually wins the pot of gold. He has learned his lesson, however, and he continues telling truthful tales of the days he spent with the Leprechauns. Rayyan's wispy pastel watercolor illustrations are peopled with Rackhamesque fairies and realistic characters. There is a fine blend of energy, humor, and magic in the Celtic-bordered pictures. This is a well-crafted tale told with a storyteller's touch; the language flows and the story satisfies.?Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Well, as any good Irish legend will tell you, be careful about what you say about the Fair Folk, for they have great ears for hearing and egos to boot!! It's hardly long before Patrick O'Kelly is swept off to the very land of the Faeries to meet the king of the leprechauns himself!
Like any fine Celtic tale, the book is full of twists and turns and play on words, of which the title of the book is just one (I'll not give away the ending for fear of spoiling the fun for readers!). The ending is a fun surprise for readers, as well as for our brave hero, Patrick O'K. Himself! What will stick to readers' ribs most, however, are the illustrations.
Illustrated by Omar Rayyan, the book resembles now an illuminated manuscript, now a surrealistic painting. Faeries and other Fair Folk are mischievous creatures, to say the least, and to step into their world, however briefly, is to take a roller coaster ride into the ethereal and strange. Winged sprites flit too and fro, and the King has always about him a smile that is first playful and fun, and upon closer inspection, hinting at some darker purpose. Once Patrick has gone to their fair land, they are all about him, hiding here and there, yet the reader knows that they are invisible to everyone-another example of that mischievous, almost sinister magic they weave.
All in all, a tremendous book and perhaps too overlooked in the children's section. Though Irish in nature, it is not about St. Patrick's day, so there is no need to keep it mothballed until then! Bring out this treasure of a story and illustration and read it often!!