I love Welsh legends. They’re full of larger than life characters, unexpected flashes of humour and half the time they don’t even try to make sense. So when, last March, I was offered the chance to write a whole book of them for the Scholastic Classics series, I leaped at them with the enthusiasm of a Welsh sheep spotting a nice patch of grass. Or something like that.
It was a great confidence boost to have a new contract and it came at just the right time, as the first lockdown of 2020 was starting and all my author events were cancelled. I spent an enjoyable few months reading all the stories I could get my hands on and selecting my favourites to retell. I’ve made a few tweaks here and there, and put my own spin on them.
It’s hard to pick my favourite from the book. Maybe the story of Blodeuwedd (Flower Face), which features the silliest murder plot in the history of literature. Or The Leaves that Hung but Never Grew, which oozes strangeness. Or My Brother the Fairy, which tells you exactly what to do if someone in your family is kidnapped and replaced by a fairy.
The cover, by David Wardle, is full of images from the stories, so after you’ve read them you can try to match them up. And there’s some very pretty art inside, too.
Here’s a sneaky look.
Welsh Fairy Tales Myths and Legends is available in all the usual places. If you’re ordering online, please consider using www.hive.co.uk or www.bookshop.org, which both support independent bookshops. Or order straight from your local bookshop of course!