Writer: Taffy Thomas
Publishing House: The History Press
Date of Publication: January 1st 2017
Rating: 5 stars
‘’I’m a teller of tales, a spinner of yarns,
A weaver of dreams and a liar.
I’ll teach you some stories to tell to
While sitting at home by the fire.’’
‘’The Storyteller’’ by Mike Jones
Cumbria is one of the most magical places in Britain. At its heart, myths and legends well-known to those of us who love Folklore and stories of the past. Strange creatures live along the shores of Windermere. Stories related to King Arthur, remembered by the Round Table monument at Eamont Bridge and Carlisle Castle, a landmark that acquired a significant role in the Arthurian saga. Fairies and fairy castles. Adam Bell, Long Meg and her Daughters. The Beast of Cumbria and other dragons. Let us travel to the Lake District and meet farmers, shepherds, fishermen, and brave children.
(King Arthur’s Round Table Monument)
(Long Meg and Her Daughters
image source: http://www.stone-circles.org.uk/stone/longmeg.htm)
Taffy Thomas provides the name of the place in which each story is set and introduces us to the customs that gave birth to the tales. Even though these are tales for children, the writing is vivid and beautiful without being simplistic and childish. He doesn’t underestimate the intelligence of children or the imagination of grown-ups and the result is a delightful collection of funny and magical tales. In my opinion, these are the finest stories in this charming book:
The Dragon of Winter: A tale on the changing of seasons.
The Cat Fishers: A competition between an old black cat and a white kitten. An old fox offers to act as a judge and I think we all know who won in the end…
The Farmer’s Fun-Loving Daughter: A daughter fills a farm with the joy of music to honour her father.
Mr. Coney: Why rabbits have long ears and bobbly tails.
The Boy and the Harp: A moving story of war, Irish tradition and the haunting melody of the harp.
The Ghost of Grasmere Gables: A Halloween tale about a very brave toddler and a ghost guarding a treasure.
The Dragon of Rydal Cave: A boy who loved music and a dragon that loved stories.
‘’For there’s wisdom and wit, beauty
There’s laughter and sometimes
But when the story is over and the
Spell is broken
You’ll find that there’s nothing to fear.’’