The Song Of Brigid’s Cloak.
A review by Kate O’Brien.
A charming retelling of a story that most of us already know, set to a tune that will have us humming as we go.
Published by Beehive Books, Catherine Ann Cullen’s The Song Of Brigid’s Cloak is a delightful story. What better way to introduce young readers to the story of Brigid’s cloak than by sharing a tale that can also be told through song?
Catherine Ann Cullen is a talented poet who has a knack for writing charming verses that linger in the ears for a long time. Catherine’s take on the story of Brigid’s cloak started out as a song.
You can see Catherine Ann Cullen singing “The Song Of Brigid’s Cloak” at beehivebooks.ie/brigids-cloak. Catherine adapted a traditional tune to fit her bouncy, funny take on the story of Brigid’s cloak, a story that many of us would have learned in school, but likely not in such an entertaining way.
If you have not heard the tale, the book is about the Irish legend of St. Brigid. Brigid was never without her “wee small cloak.” Brigid is determined to build a church for the people, but the miserly King refuses to share one inch of his vast lands. Brigid is not deterred and she asks the King for as much land as her cloak will cover. The King took one look at Brigid’s “wee small cloak”, and laughed and laughed and agreed to her deal at once. Imagine the miserly King’s shocked face when he saw Brigid’s cloak growing, growing, and growing some more. It was the clever and determined Brigid who had the last laugh.
When I first heard Catherine Ann Cullen’s take on the tale, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia because the last time I had heard the story of Brigid’s cloak, I was in primary school.
I didn’t expect to be filled with such fondness for the tale, and I was pleasantly surprised to find myself humming the song for the rest of the day. Catherine Ann Cullen has created a delightful earworm that is sure to have younger readers singing in their seats.
Illustrated by Katya Swan, The Song Of Brigid’s Cloak plays out on beautiful pages. Katya has brought the story to life with rich colours that burst with life on the pages and catch the reader’s eye. Perfect for when we are trying to grab a younger reader’s attention. Katya’s artwork and Catherine Ann’s form go hand in hand because both are simple, and easy to follow, while still being beautiful, bright, and lots of fun.
The Song Of Brigid’s Cloak is a charming read and it is a gorgeous addition to any bookshelf. As an adult, it was lovely to return to an old story that has been retold in a fresh, musical way. A book like this, a book that combines rhythm and song with easy verses and bright illustrations is a perfect way to introduce younger readers to a well-known, well-loved tale. It encourages role play, it encourages song, it is a fantastic book that allows young readers to explore a tale in various fun and engaging ways.
The Song Of Brigid’s Cloak is available now at www.beehivebooks.ie and other bookshops.
You can find follow Catherine Ann Cullen on Instagram @catherineanncullen.
Katya Swan @katya_swan_illustrations & Beehive Books @beehivebooks.ie.
All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own. This is not an ad. This is not a paid promotion.