Thursday, August 6, 2020

Review - The Book of Selkie

The Book of Selkie

by Briana Corr Scott
Date: 2020
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 24
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Oh to be a Selkie,
And live between two worlds
Half your days spent as a seal,
And the other half, a girl...

Stories about the selkie have been told for hundreds of years by those who live near the North Atlantic and North Sea. Sometimes called "seal folk," the selkie, as humans, are tall and strong with dark hair and eyes. Extremely private, they keep their seal coats hidden away until they get restless and are called to the sea, and take on their seal forms.

In her lyrical follow-up to She Dreams of Sable Island, artist and author Briana Corr Scott explores the Selkie legend in a book of short, whimsical poems. Find out what Selkie likes to eat, where she lives, how she spends her time on land and in the sea, and learn a Selkie lullaby. Lilting and lyrical, with acrylic paintings that recall the ocean's depths, this magical book is ideal for both bedtime and playtime. Features a paper doll, clothes, and seal.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I haven't come across many books about selkies, especially for this age group. (The only other one I can remember reading is Franny Billingsley's wonderful novel The Folk Keeper.) The Book of Selkie is a lovely little book of poems about a selkie girl's life.

The lyrical poetry is accompanied by beautiful acrylic paintings that show the selkie girl shedding her seal skin and going about her day as a human. Of course, the sea always calls her back, and she eventually returns to the waves, but not before having a lovely meal and knitting herself a sweater out of hand-spun fog.

If you enjoyed the film The Secret of Roan Inish, then you will probably find this picture book a treat. It introduces the mythology of selkies in an easy-to-understand way. The poems do a good enough job on their own, but there are also a couple of pages at the back that offer more insight into this legendary creature.

Thank you to NetGalley and Nimbus Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.43 out of 5

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