Nothin' like a good fairy tale I always say. But sometimes it is so hard to find a good story that can keep your precocious little ones happy. A long chapter book, this is perfect for those reading...


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The King of Ireland's Son

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The King of Ireland's Son << Prev page
Padraic Colum
Illustrated by Willy Pognay

When you have a precocious listener (by that I mean a child who listens to long, long stories at a very young age -- 3, 4 or 5 years), you may find yourself in a quandary when picking your child's stories. Just because they can listen to a story does not mean they ought to listen to them. A child may be able to sit through and comprehend a story long before they are ready for it emotionally and developmentally. But these precocious listeners are often just begging for more, more, more. They want stories that are longer, harder and more complex, anything to keep that inquiring mind intrigued.

Having experienced a couple of these children myself, I know how hard it is to find a story that is complex enough to keep these children fascinated and is not ahead of their emotional development. Kids this age thrive on archetypal stories (especially traditional renditions of classic fairy tales), not the involved emotional stories that are geared for older children. The King of Ireland's Son is just perfect for those early chapter book listeners!

Written by Padraic Colum, the famed Irish storyteller, The King of Ireland's Son is an epic Irish folk tale. It tells the tale of the King of Ireland's son's heroic journey to win his life back from the Enchanter of the Black Backlands. On his journey the King's son faces many trials and tribulations. Again and again, he must beat insurmountable odds and do impossible tasks. During the course of his adventure, he meets (and loses and regains) his true love; meets many friends, allies and foes; gains use of the sword of light; and faces many tremendous obstacles before completing his task. It is your basic adventure tale with beautiful princesses to rescue, magic steeds, giants, witches and enchanters. In a symbolic way, it is the stuff life is made of-strong women, weak women, good men, bad men.

Two of my four children have been precocious listeners and both have just eaten this book up. This story is so involved and the relationship between the characters so complex that neither my husband nor I could keep track of all the characters throughout the book; but, our early listeners never missed a beat. At any point in the book they could tell you who someone was and what they had done, all the while soaking up the imaginative, archetypal style of the story. They loved the princess, the prince, the good vs. bad. It was perfect for both their emotional and intellectual development. What a rare treat that was!

What more can I say? This is a great find for younger listeners.

(Ages: 3 - 9 years)

eBook price $2.99

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