was the piskies who told the old widow woman the
stories in this book, and she told them to me, and now
I am telling them to you...'
Raymond Briggs illustrates 34 tales concerning piskies, knockers, spriggans
and other Small People from West Country tradition and legend....
Evocative black pen illustrations are scattered through the pages here,
scratched and crosshatched in that simplified, subtle way which identifies
Briggs' early work.
There are Mermaids here, Small People, giants, devyls and more of course,
alongside the obvious action and excitement you'll find understatement
and maturity to the imagery that's been wrought. Take 'Lutey And The Mermaid'
in which the title character almost succumbs to oceanic temptation.
image is a tiny depiction of Lutey on the beach once more, on his
for his wife and home as his little dog looks on. He's so small,
so exposed and
Of course it helps that the stories themselves are so well told. Manning-Sanders
has produced numerous compilations of famous and not-so famous legends,
tales and myths over the years. Her storytelling is vivid and descriptive.
coaxes his illustrations forth from her words. There's the chilly, rain-streaked
view past the mermaid, down the aisle, in 'The Mermaid In Church' and more.
On occasion he takes the authors imagery even further: In 'Lyonesse' he
depicts the two squabbling giants Ing and Ir towering over a tiny port.
They're literally scooping up ships like toys and hurling them at each
with their rigging all a-tangle like birds nests, and matchstick
tumbling to their doom - tremendous!
Stories in this volume include:
Peter And The Piskies Bucca
Dhu and Bucca Gwidden
Fairies on the Gump
Lutey And The Mermaid Tom
and Giant Blunderbus
Betty Stogs' Baby
The Crowza Stones
The Cock-Crow Stone The
Wood and the Devil
The Boy And The Bull Madgy
Figgey and the Sow
Saint Margery Daw The
Tinner, the Dog, the Jew, & the Cake
From The Head Downward The
Small People's Cow
The Piskie Thresher The
Saint Neot The
Mermaid in Church
The Knockers of Ballowal Mr
The Witch Of Fraddam Barker's
The Giant Of The Mount Peepan
The Spriggans, Treasure Duffy
and the Devil