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A Bag of Moonshine

A Bag of Moonshine

by Alan Garner, Patrick J. Lynch (Illustrator)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Noted author and folklorist Garner has compiled a collection of little-known (in America) tales from England and Wales. Garner's ear for language, and his ability to turn simple folktales into the works of oral beauty that they once were, is exceptional. The tales themselves are alternately crafty, like the somewhat familiar story of Harry-Cap, or poignant, like the story of Hewin and his bride Belenay of the lake. Lynch's illustrations are perfectly suited to each tale and abound in sly-faced youths and crafty trolls. A good read-aloud for younger children, but older children may find the unfamiliar terms and pronunciations hard going. (All ages)
School Library Journal
Gr 1 Up Taking its title from a nonsense rhyme included, this is a wonderful collection of 20 tales and 2 rhymes from England and Wales. Most are unfamiliar, although almost all contain variants of recognizable elements of European folktales. They are zestfully told, and their magic is not dark. Compare Joseph Jacob's ``Jack Hannerford'' with Garner's spirited ``up galloped the farmer, all of a dither-a-wack, like a new-baked custard.'' He gives these tales the pepper of folktelling without letting them become arty or obscure. Readers will enjoy the lilt of the phrasing and can intuit meaning of unfamiliar words. A peevish changeling hides all but his eyes, which ``keeked out like a ferret's''; the magic stick to beat a thief ``wriggled like a snig in a bottle''; and the ``Wicked Sparrow'' starts on his mad career with ``a thorn in my foot. . .and it's giving me gyp!'' Numerous sketches and eight color illustrations convey the same combination of the zany and the supernatural. No sources are included. These selections will be appreciated by independent readers; they will also make fine read-alouds for younger listeners. Ruth M. McConnell, San Antonio Public Library

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years

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