This little book is filled with amazing, beautiful illustrations and entertaining stories. Anyone interested in Irish culture and folk-lore will enjoy this book. However, while this book is a fun read for older children and adults, the content of one or two of the stories might be a little bit intense for younger children, so be sure to preview the stories before reading it to the little ones. I especially like the pronunciation guide in the front for Irish names and words, which can be very difficult, and the reference page at the end that explains the origins of each story. Also, my edition came with audio c-d's of the stories.
I saw this book in the library at Trinity College in Dublin Ireland when we were vacationing there last week. So I ordered it to read to my grand daughter when I returned. So far we have shared the first three stories and enjoyed them.
I really wanted to like this, but the stories are really dark for children. Many stories have unresolved tragedy and very sad, bleak things happen to innocent characters. I suppose the book is being true to the folk tales, but bedtime stories these are not.
How sad was I to find that several of these stories are rehashes, or just Irish versions, of stories found in other cultures, like Cinderella. No kid needs another version of that tired yarn! I wanted fresh, interesting tales that would entertain me and my kid at storytime. Unlike the other Barefoot Books I own, this volume is dull in color and the illustrations, though attractive, are not kid-friendly. In the soul-cages, the richness of the descriptions are not mined by the illustrator, who might be more at home designing corporate clipart. SO disappointed. The poetry book I bought from Barefoot is so lush and full of such unusual poems that I show it to friends who come over!