Monday, March 17, 2014
For St. Patrick's Day: Fin M'Coul by Tomie de Paola
Fin M'Coul: The Giant of Knockmanyhill by Tomie dePaola, 1981.
In honor of St. Patrick's Day and the fact that I'm somewhat Irish, let's take a look at the Celtic tale of Fin M'Coul and his clever wife Oonagh! Although he is a fine giant himself, Fin has spent years running from the nasty Cucullin, a giant bully with magical strength provided to him by a brass finger. Cucullin has beaten every other giant in Ireland, and that is why he is coming for Fin. Luckily, Fin's lovely wife Oonagh has an ingenious plan to fool Cucullin, one that involves twenty one iron frying pans, fresh cheese, white stones and Fin all dressed up in baby clothes and lying in a huge cradle. Readers of all ages will love this funny and fantastic story of a bully's comeuppance and girls and women especially will appreciate the crafty Oonagh.
According to his website (http://www.tomie.com/) Tomie dePaola has written and/or illustrated almost 250 books and been published for 40 years. His books are classics, and this one is no exception. The art is colorful and playful, and dePaola's characters are very expressive and child pleasing. Readers will enjoy seeing the giants surrounded by smaller creatures such as tiny sheep, fairies, leprechauns and a bitty kitty cat. They will also get a laugh out of bearded Fin dressed in his frilly pink bonnet, gown and baby booties.