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2011: MAC RÍ ÉIREANN : THE SON OF THE KING OF IRELAND

‘When I first got hold of this book, I knew there would be a magical, beautiful and dangerous read before me. The story Mac Rí Éireann brings us on a fantasy journey from the Western World into the Eastern World. It tells us about the King of Ireland who banishes his son on the advice of a Druid. The eldest son recounts his story: he lets us know how he came to work for the King of the Eastern World and about the fate in store for him. We see the dangerous and exciting encounters that he experiences: battles with giants, finding his fortune, and saving a princess from the horrific monster.
This book reminds me of a blend of well-known fairy tales, such as Fionn Mac Cumhaill’s adventures and stories from the East. There are similarities to the tale of Cinderella as we see the princess pursuing the warrior who owns the blue boot made of crystal. Like most fairy tales, the hero has a happy ending with his princess.
Andrew Whitson’s talent is evident throughout this book; the detailed pictures clearly describe the story that is written for us. The illustrations take the reader on the storyteller’s journey back to bygone times and to a secret world that no longer exists.
A DVD comes with the book and gives us an opportunity to listen to the story in a way that is reminiscent of the oral tradition so prominent in Ireland in years gone by. The learner of Gaeilge can enhance his/her Irish through reading and listening to the story.
This book is suitable for older teens, although I feel it could be read to older children, and that it would of course appeal to adults to stir their imagination. 
Mac Rí Éireann should certainly be a collector’s item for the Gaeilge reader as well as the art enthusiast.’

Inis Magazine

 


PLOT SUMMARY

One day the King of Ireland is on a hunting expedition. At a lake he is distracted by a swan that is constantly casting away one of its young. Perplexed, the King seeks council with his druid who proceeds to explain that in nature any living creature will send its thirteenth offspring out into the wild world to fend for itself. The king himself has thirteen beloved sons and the druid informs him that he is no exception to these laws of nature. With a heavy heart he closes his castle gate on the eldest of his sons who rides off into the east disguised as a cowherd. He soon finds favour with theEastern King and is set upon a path where he battles fierce giants, great warriors and a giant sea serpent. He must defeat all of these if he is to win the hand of the King’s daughter!


Spec

6 -11 years

Irish Myth and Legend

Picture Book

Mac Rí Éireann: The King of Ireland’s Son.

Caitríona Hastings - Andrew Whitson.

ISBN: 978-0-9552271-4-1

Casebound Book using 2.25mm board.

210mm x 297mm.

60pp on 150gsm Olin Smooth Absolute and printed in four colour process.

Silk coating throughout. 

Self ends on 150 gms Olin Absolute White Smooth.

Covers matt laminated on one side.

 


2011 : Ó CHRANN GO CRANN : FROM TREE TO TREE

“From award-winning writer Caitríona Hastings comes a charming and beautifully illustrated tale about Nia, a young girl faced with a daunting move from her idyllic country home to a new house in the big city. Not only does she leave her neighbours and school friends behind, but Nia has to bid farewell to her most unlikely companions – the crows in her garden. This delightful tale is essentially about changes and upheaval in a young child’s life. Throughout the story, her avian companions assist her in settling into her new life and remind her that she is never really alone.
The illustrations in this picture book are bursting with vibrant colour. They will be appealing to young children because the striking images are depicted from a child’s perspective – whether it is from underneath the safety of an oversized umbrella or at the base of a huge frightening bridge in the big city. The book is accompanied by a DVD, which includes a digital retelling of the story, both in Irish and English, as well as a series of simple poems, based on the story and read by children.
An original, charming story with remarkable illustrations, Ó Chrann go Crann is an enjoyable and heart-warming tale ideally suited to children aged 0-4.”


Inis Magazine

 

PLOT SUMMARY

Nina is a young girl preparing for the move to the big city. Her journey is monitored by some unexpected guardians who use their powers to express friendship and caring for the young Nia as she copes with the daunting change .

This is a wonderful original text which explores coping with major life changes and the help that friends can bring at such times.


spec

4 - 8 years

Ó Chrann go Crann: From Tree to Tree. 2011 

Picture Book

Caitríona Hastings - Andrew Whitson.

ISBN: 978-0-9552271-5-8

Casebound Book using 3mm board.

250mm x 250mm.

48pp on 150gsm White Silk Paper and printed in four colour process.

Machine sealer varnish throughout.

Self ends on 150 gms White Silk Paper.

Covers matt laminated on one side.

Dustjacket produced on 270gsm Colourplan Fine Linen White and printed in four colour process.

Dust jacket to have slot die cut to hold cd trimmed to size, creased and folded.


2012 : COGITO

“When a young girl moves to a strange new place and realises her shadow is missing, she delves into a secret, magical place to recover it – her imagination… 
Cogito is a beautifully conceived book which dramatizes a young girl’s fantastical leap into the world of fairies. The elaborate illustrations in this book are exceptional; it blends wonderful, whimsical fairies and goblins with dark, gothic images which draw the reader into the character’s unconventional imagination. The detail in the illustrations is remarkable, and lends a surrealist touch which complements the storyline very well.
The author combines Irish traditional stories of fairies with a contemporary urban setting. There are references to philosophical statements such as “I think, therefore I am”, and the plot plays on the age-old notion of the shadow signifying the soul. The book, therefore, is best suited to 10-12 year olds, although adults may derive more meaning and enjoyment from it than children.
Cogito is a sort of fantasy-fiction which is rarely seen in Irish children’s literature, however the illustrative content is sure to capture the imagination of many adult and children readers alike.”

Inis Magazine

 

Plot Summary

Cogito tells of a young girl who is just about to knock on the door of her new home when she is told from an unexpected voice that she has no shadow! Cogito, frightened by this prospect, sets out on a quest into a fantastical fairy world inside her book in order to get her shadow back. Follow her journey as she tries to solve the puzzles that await on the quest to find her shadow. This highly original production marries the visual narrative with the story in a way that is current and innovative

 


spec

4 - 8 years

Picture Book: Original Text

Cogito: 2012.

Caitríona Nic Sheáin - Andrew Whitson.

ISBN: 978-9552271-6-5

Casebound Book using 2.25mm board.

300mm x 250mm.

40pp on 150gsm Olin Absolute White Smooth and printed in four colour process.

Machine sealer vaenish throughout.

Self ends on 150 gms Olin Absolute White Smooth.

Covers matt laminated on one side.