Welsh books for my bookworms

(llyfrbryfed – welsh for bookworms)

It is always fascinating to hear the parts of a book, that my children choose to share with me. They may not tell me the whole story, but they read out the sentences that ring true to them. The bits of text that shout out, loud and clear. These will be the messages that they will remember long after the book is gathering dust on their book cases. The passages which will drive them to search out the book. These are the best moments.

With St David’s day fast approaching, it seemed a good time to introduce the children to more folk tales from Wales. BL sunk her teeth into Seven Welsh Folk Tales, which is perfect for an eight year old who needs words rather than illustrations.

BL is a girl who learns best using kinesthetic learning (tactile), so I knew that she would enjoy the description at the start of one of those stories. It instructs the reader to sit down, pour themselves a glass of lemonade, sit back and enjoy it. Then once the glass is finished, look at the shape their hand makes as it holds the glass. This is the shape of the welsh coastline. I’m pretty sure that BL will remember this snippet of information for ever. Where it leads her, who knows.

The book is lovely. It is light, with gentle humour and BL devoured it within a day or two. Just like the magic harp, in one of the stories, which, when played, would not let the characters stop dancing, this book kept her reading.

Not to miss out, TF and AJ had a welsh themed book too. TF loves to curl up on my lap and listen to a story. I chose The Seal Children for him. The illustrations are just beautiful and as I read the words, I couldn’t help hearing it as a lovely, lilting, welsh voice.

AJ’s book was Stories From Wales. She is working her way around the world reading folk tales from different countries. She already knew some of the stories and recognised similarities with tales from further afield, but most are new to her. She is thoroughly enjoying dipping into this book. The last two pages help with the pronunciation of the welsh place names. Very appealing to a girl who loves languages.

Tomorrow is St David’s day. I have a lovely craft for the children to do and, as long as the Aga is back up after it’s service, I will bake a recipe from my welsh Great Grandma’s recipe book. I’m sure we will be reading one of these tales before bedtime too. Till then.

(Oh, last book on the pile is mine. Making Welsh Quilts.)




  1. Heya,

    Just a suggestion for an activity. I studied folk and fairy tales at uni, and there are so many similarities in theme and device around the world that they have been categorised. Might be worth having a go to see how AJ would compare and categorise stories and categories? And the trying to write one? I love thinking that people all around the world respond to stories that are in essence the same, that these tales unify us somehow.

    Recommended reading for you: if you haven’t yet read it, get hold of “Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Cambell. I thoroughly recommend it!

    1. What a great idea. She would really enjoy such a challenge. Your degree sounds fab. It must have been fascinating. I’ll follow up your book recommendation. Thank you for the suggestion.

      1. My degree was actually in English and History but there was some awesome modules. There’s some really fascinating writing looking at how folk tales evolve, what they tell us about how we work, how they have a ‘truth’ at their centre that is not literal but emotional, how they teach us as children that we are not alone in struggling with sibling rivalry (Cinderella), finding our own path (The Three Feathers) and coping with step-mothers and mothers-in-law (oh so many!!). Most fairy tales that now seem very nice and child-friendly have rather more disturbing origins, dealing with issues of adolescence, sex, abuse and violence more viscerally, perhaps for an era that needed to give children a tool to deal with these at an earlier age. This is one of the earliest versions of Sleeping Beauty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun,_Moon,_and_Talia

        Got plenty more suggested reading on this if you’re interested!

        1. It sounds a fascinating subject and something I’ve read only a little about. Your module must have been so interesting. I’m pretty sure that we will be investigating more. Thanks for the info.

  2. Love the book choices and Love the Red Dragon!!!!!
    Have you seen Jackie Morris’s Blog? You probably have..but just in case…

    Happy St Davids Day….now all I need is a bunch of Daffodils :0)

    1. Ehem! No, I haven’t. Have now. What beautiful cats and I know the area. Wonderful inspiration. Happy St David’s day.

  3. Makes me miss St Davids and trips down to Marloes 🙂 Great Dragon and story tale suggestions. Dragons fit in well with our Autumn fast approaching, but not a daffodil in sight here in Oz!

    1. Only just seeing the first daffodils opening here. Snowdrops are still in full bloom and it is cold. All to look forward too!

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