Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said, by Padraic ColumReg Down
This book has depth, artistry and drama with a strong and clear storyteller's voice. It needed, in my opinion as a teacher, a helping hand to make it more accessible to contemporary children . especially North American kids. So I gave it a fresh editing with grade 4-8 students in mind. In addition to editing for clarity and pronounceability (Celtic spellings are sometimes impossible!), I refreshed the original illustrations, inserted footnotes where a word was uncommon or seldom used, added a map to show where countries and mountains mentioned in the book are located, added a section with characterizations and drawings of all the birds which appear in the book, included the Celtic Ogham alphabet referenced in one tale (plus examples for students to decipher and encouragement for them to write their own Ogham), and finally, added a brief biography of Padraic Colum, with a description of his dramatic life and times in Ireland and his arrival in the land of hope, America. This book really is a gem and well worth the reading for both students and adults alike.
Reg Down: editor.