Review: Magical Myths And Legends. Chosen by Michael Morpurgo.
Every tale in this book is centuries old. So explains the introduction by Michael Morpurgo which explains that even before we had books, we had stories.
Regular readers of my blog know that I have a passion for folk tales and legends. They are the stuff on which our dreams are built. They are the place from which other forms of storytelling evolved. It is lovely to see this collection of ten tales about well-known figures like Icarus and Robin Hood.
This is the perfect introductory book to myths and legends. It looks a challenging size, but the text is large and the illustrations take up most of the page, so it is actually limited to one or two paragraphs per page. This makes it brilliant for less-confident readers, or for sharing aloud in shorter time-spaces, such as bedtime or the gap between lessons and play.
It also has a good range of origins – Greek Myths, and English folk tales, and Viking legends among them – and the stories are told and illustrated by different creators. I was particularly charmed, as a Millenial, that many of these the storytellers of my childhood. It felt like something I might have picked up in my childhood library (albeit in the fresher, prettier publishing style of today). Perhaps myths and folk-tales feel like this anyway, but reading words by Tony Bradman and Jeanne Willis added to this effect. These are some of the most established and practiced children’s authors working today.
The range of illustration styles makes each story feel distinctive. Readers will soon have their favourites, and it is impossible to pick this up without flicking through to pick.
I am impressed with this as an early collection of folk tales, and as stories that can be shared between people of all ages. This is the perfect book for reading out loud.
Thanks to Oxford University Press for my gifted copy of Magical Myths And Legends. Opinions my own.