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Children's LiteratureThis collection of stories comes out of the ancient oral tradition when stories enchanted listeners in the great halls of castles as well as by the fire in snug huts. In the style of the ancient bards, Ms. Bodger, a consummate storyteller, retells the Celtic tales of Tristan, Childe Rowland, Iron John, Burd Janet, the Brown Bull of Coolee, and the Roman emperor and the Welsh princess so that they are a joy to read or to tell. Mr. Setterington's introduction is as evocative as the stories themselves. He describes how Ms. Bodger told him the story of Tristan's youth at the site of an ancient castle in Cornwall and of Tristan's death by the fireside of a 14th century inn. The black and white woodcut illustrations add just the right atmosphere to the age-old stories. Ms. Bodger, who, studied story-telling at Columbia University, died in 2002. She was author of many books for adults as well as children (and books like this that are for all ages.). She once described her writings as "playing in a shaft of sunlight filled with cosmic dust, and that my playthings are bits and pieces of myth." She attributed her ability to survive the many difficulties she encountered in life to her sense of story. 2003, Tundra Books, Ages 8 to adult.
—Janet Crane Barley