The Children of Lir by Sheila MacGill-Callahan

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Synopsis

A haunting Irish legend, believed by some to be the basis for King Lear. A king's jealous wife puts a spell on his children, changing them into swan s, until such time as the Man from the North and the Woman from the South--two mountain peaks--are joined together. Watercolor illustrations.
 

About Sheila MacGill-Callahan

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GENNADY SPIRIN " has illustrated numerous books, which have been published in both his native Europe and the United States. He lives in New Jersey.
 
Published March 5, 1993 by Dial. 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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In a tale ``loosely based on an Irish myth,'' Lir's four children are turned into swans by jealous stepmother Aiofe, who grants them just one day a year in their true form--but ``on that day your feet may not touch the earth or you will surely die.'' They find refuge on a whale's back;

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Publishers Weekly

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He drives the slithering creatures off the Emerald Isle and into the sea--save for one, the ""biggest, oldest, sneakiest snake in all of Ireland."" The lone creature incessantly shadows Patrick, who soon devises a plan to trap the snake and set it out to sea with the others.

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""This striking, moving picture book carefully avoids didacticism as it treats the serious theme of pollution,"" said PW, also lauding Moser's ""exquisite"" watercolors.

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Long ago an old Indian carved a turtle in a rock and explained to his grandson that it would be the eye of Manitou the All-Father and would watch over the Delaware people.

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Sparked by a snippet of Jewish folklore that claims King Solomon's ring enabled him to talk to animals, the story begins when the youthful Solomon, on a hunting party, takes pity on an injured lioness and her cubs.

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Resourceful Oonagh learns that if she claims to seek the pirate king's son's hand in marriage, she will be set four riddles to answer--and given four weeks to come up with a rescue plan for herself and her intended.

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Spirin's ( Snow White and Rose Red ) characteristically sumptuous, gilt-flecked paintings accentuate both the material opulence of royalty and the strength and natural beauty of the varied animals who assist the swans and provide the book's joyful conclusion.

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