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Ring of Truth

Ring of Truth

5.0 1
by Teresa Bateman

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"Epitomizing the best of Irish storytelling, this blithe debut pokes fun at its own blustery genre," said PW. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-6A charming read-aloud, particularly for St. Patrick's Day. Patrick O'Kelley is a peddler who never tells the truth when a lie will do. When he boasts of his grand blarney-spouting abilities, the King of the Leprechauns decides to teach him a lesson. He brings Patrick to the land of the Little People and presents him with an emerald ring that forces him to speak only what is true. This causes problems not only for Patrick's gift of gab but for his customers who were used to the peddler's flattering ways and walloping yarns. Eventually he is coerced into performing in the famous Blarney Contest and, of course, he can only tell the truththe account of how the magical Leprechaun king appeared to him in a hall of crystal and gold, arriving on four tiny ponies and gave him the enchanted ring. This outlandish though accurate story is judged the "biggest pack of blarney" ever and the sheepish man actually wins the pot of gold. He has learned his lesson, however, and he continues telling truthful tales of the days he spent with the Leprechauns. Rayyan's wispy pastel watercolor illustrations are peopled with Rackhamesque fairies and realistic characters. There is a fine blend of energy, humor, and magic in the Celtic-bordered pictures. This is a well-crafted tale told with a storyteller's touch; the language flows and the story satisfies.Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Bateman's first book is a beautifully layered, consistently sprightly take on the notion that truth is stranger than fiction.

Itinerant peddler Patrick O'Kelley habitually tells magnificent lies, blarneying his gullible customers into purchasing scarves and trinkets. When he hears of a blarney contest in County Donegal, he sets his cap for the prize of a pot of gold, boasting that he "can spout better blarney than the king of the leprechauns himself." The king's mountain has ears (proof is in one of Rayyan's witty complementary illustrations), and the king decides to teach Patrick a lesson. In the throne room to which Patrick has been summoned, the king bestows upon Patrick a Ring of Truth; the wearer cannot lie while it is on his finger, and cannot remove it. Without his sales pitch, Patrick loses business, for "people . . . were now sore disappointed" in Patrick, and they run the hapless peddler out of town after town. All is not lost—when Patrick tells the amazing truth of why he no longer qualifies for the competition, the people believe his story to be the biggest blarney of all, awarding him the gold. Through the "fair folk," Patrick is provided with further truthful material for his tales, never believed by listeners in the grosser world. It's a reality that creates a larger, ironical wrapping for this tale; fanciful illustrations take off from a Renaissance base to provide yet another twist on the central theme. A cohesive, enchanting book.

Product Details

San Val, Incorporated
Publication date:
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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