FICTION

Once upon a Place

illus. by P.J. Lynch. 224p. Little Island. Jun. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781910411377.
COPY ISBN
Gr 5 Up—Place rather than time is key in this anthology of short stories and poems by Irish writers, edited by popular Irish author Colfer. Whether real or imaginary, the settings are always specific and explore the importance, and magic, of place in the lives of individuals. Two immigrant siblings use an enclosed park as a refuge in a poignant entry by Jane Mitchell. In poet Pat Boran's hands, a run-of-the-mill bus stop becomes beautiful when a stranger receives incredible news from a loved one. Roddy Doyle uses a leap into the sea from the roof of a mysterious pumping station to reveal the jumper's future and how the place around him changes. A childhood home holds unimaginable guilt in a haunting tale by Jim Sheridan. Sarah Webb tells of a boy who finds a much-needed listener in feline form in the garden behind the library after his parents separate. Colfer, best known for his "Artemis Fowl" series, made the "Once upon a Place" theme his project as Laureate na nÓg (Ireland's Children's Laureate) from 2014 to 2016. He also contributes a selection about a princess taking charge of her life and saving her people, which includes a bit of satire of old-time storytellers. The work is illustrated by Lynch, now Laureate na nÓg himself, and his exquisite grayscale artwork teases out the mood of each piece and enhances the overall effect.
VERDICT An excellent volume that will hopefully now reach a wide readership on this side of the pond.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.