Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts. Ten Tales from the Deep Dark Woods by Craig Phillips. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2017.
The telling of stories of myths and legends was the reason the storyteller had the best seat by the fire. Here are ten myths legends and fairy tales from nine different cultures that talk about all the mythical creatures mentioned in the title.
Most of the stories you will know already although there was one I hadn’t heard of and it is a beauty. From Sweden is The Boy Who Was Never Afraid. He goes looking for his cow that was stolen by a an old Troll. Who hasn’t? he can’t afford to be afraid and after confronting bravely some formidable opponents he gets his cow back and becomes a hero at the same time. Brilliant.
You get Irish giant Finn McCool, Russian with Baba Yaga and Momotaro the peach boy plus others. You can’t beat that.
What makes these tales more accessible than they were before is the fact they are written in wide screen comic book illustrations that bring life to the tales. Visual readers will really get into these and so they should.
Less than 30 bucks will get you this impressive book that will appeal to reluctant readers and good readers alike. High boy appeal.
Maui – Sun Catcher by Tim Tipene, Illus. Zak Waipara. Pub.Oratia Books, 2016.
The strength of any culture is how it changes and evolves with the changes in the modern world. Every New Zealander knows the story of how Maui and his brothers capture the sun and stop it moving too fast across the sky. I have known it for over 60 years and it was always a favourite.
This hard cover bilingual picture book retells this story in an urban setting with references to a different kind of struggle in a world where Maui his mum and his brothers have lived in the darkness too long.
Maui and his brothers are in modern super hero suits and Maui is still referred to as a trouble maker. Superb modern illustrations from Zak Waipara that will appeal to modern children .
The story ends with Maui deciding to go fishing. I wonder what he will catch?
Primary and intermediate in appeal but older students and adults could do with looking at this classy picture book. Good for studying the Maori language too.