A Dublin Fairytale.
A Dublin Fairytale
Nicola Colton, author/illustrator
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
P.O. Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781847177742, $18.00, www.amazon.com
"A Dublin Fairytale" is a unique, original revisitation of the story of Little Red Riding Hood with a mischievous, Irish twist. Presented with sun-splashed, eccentric illustrations in a gently muted rainbow palette, "A Dublin Fairytale" follows the journey of Fiona and her cat to buy supplies at the Witches' Market for her Granny, who is sick. Fiona is warned by her mother to not get delayed by anyone, but to explain that she is in a hurry. Fiona first encounters a disguised giant in St Stephen's Green forest. Although she is frightened, Fiona offers to help the giant free his foot from a thorn bush, then travels on. Off in the distance is seen a wolf pedaling his bicycle. On the Ha'penny Bridge past the Trinity College of Sorcery, Fiona meets a large orange troll, who growls at her. Although he is scary, the troll apologizes to Fiona, telling her his throat is sore, so she offers him a cough drop from her pocket. Off in the distant river a sailor merman and strumming mermaid make watery music. At the Spire, who should appear to Fiona but a frightened purple dragon, whom Fiona aids by shooing away a pigeon that is frightening to the dragon. Finally Fiona reaches the Witches' Market and finds everything she needs, when all of a sudden, the lurking wolf on a bicycle rides by snatching her basket of goodies! Fiona cries loudly for help, and to the rescue come her giant, fantastic friends, the giant, the troll, and the dragon, each of them admonishing the wolf to stop and give back her basket! Amazed by her allies, the wolf confesses he is sorry, he just wanted some of Fiona's nice smelling cake. Fiona promptly invites the wolf and her new friends to share cake and witches' brew with her at her Granny's, and they accepted! An added tiny surprise is Fiona's hospitable green witch Granny, who fits right in with the other storybook characters. A delightful story, "A Dublin Fairytale" seems to incorporate the basic elements of a familiar story into a fresh new outlook of hopeful peaceable compromise. Children will love "A Dublin Fairytale" for its candor, freshness, and imagination.