Thursday, 27 April 2017

'Folk Tales and Legends' from 1981

I feel like I'm rescuing books from oblivion all the time.

Look at this wonderful recent find, from a charity shop in Heaton Mersey. 'Folk Tales and Legends' retold by Michaela Tvrdikova, with wonderful illustrations by Vojtech Kubasta, published by Cathay Books in 1981. It's the kind of book I would have loved to have found when I was eleven. How wonderful it would have been to be immersed in tales from Greece, China, Turkey and Spain at that age, and to find them richly illustrated like this.

At eleven I was reading Doctor Who and Star Trek and all kinds of stuff. I wasn't reading children's books or fairy tales anymore. It would be a few long years before I felt grown-up enough to return to children's literature...

But these kinds of tales of ancient adventures are what underlie and influence all the great science fiction stories, of course. I'd read (perhaps rather dry?) versions of the old myths before I was eleven, of course. If I could go back in time for real, I think I'd go back with this wonderful volume to 1981 and present it to myself. You need to know these stories well, I'd say...

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