Saturday, January 9, 2016

Scottish Fairy Tales


Rating: 3 Stars


I picked up this little gem in a store when Mom and I were in Scotland in 2009. We were on a day trip that included a visit to Loch Lomond, but opted not to go on the little cruise around the loch. Instead we meandered down the paths and took beautiful picture of Ben Lomond and these lovely ducks who wanted to follow us around. (All photos are my personal photos, taken in 2009).

I'm not really an 'outdoor girl' (Scotland, 2009)

My little buddies (Scotland, 2009)

Loch Lomond; Ben Lomond is hiding behind the clouds (Scotland, 2009)

This is one of several books I purchased when we wandered into the welcome center and it is definitely a treat. There is lots of trickery and shape-shifting in these stories, they all seem very strange until you then think about modern versions of fairy tales as told in the US and their earlier versions from around the world. Often these stories had wicked queen/step-mothers/both. This is a strange little collection that was entertaining, though I did not read all in one sitting, despite it being such a short text. Many of the stories are so similar in theme and characters that I would read one or two and then come back to it later. Most are no longer than 5-6 pages. The illustrations are very colorful and whimsical, perfectly matched to the subject matter.

My only complaint is that there was no historical context, something I would have appreciated. I would have found it interesting to learn where the stories may have originated, any basis in reality from where the myths evolved, etc. There was zilch in that department, and as someone who enjoys history, I was disappointed. That is the reason I could only give this one three stars and not four.

This one will be especially enjoyable for anyone who enjoys legends and folk lore, and that beautiful country that I always feel is my native land.

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