My first meeting with a selkie didn’t go well. I had no idea what it was. That’s why I like the fact that Lari Don starts her Breaking the Spell story collection by explaining selkies. She did the same for kelpies. And that way no one has to suffer embarrassment.
Lari Don has collected ten traditional Scottish stories and retold them her way. I think apart from one, they were all new to me. Like most fairy tales, these stories have something in common with traditional tales from all over the world, and as with most of them, it doesn’t matter how many times you hear them. They are always fresh. These Scottish ones have a lovely flavour of where they belong.
I can’t quite decide which is my favourite; they are all enjoyable in their own way. Illustrated by Cate James in what I call modern retro style (bet you can understand exactly what I mean!), this book should provide hours of bedside reading.