Thursday, 16 July 2015

"Family Time Fables" - Irish Legends by Wayne Kearns. Reviewed by Senior Infants and First Class, Collon N.S.

 "Family Time Fables" by Wayne Kearns.  
Irish Legends for Children.

We received a copy of these titles in return for an honest review...

Followers of Bleach House Library will know that we love a good children's book.  We are also massive Irish Fiction fans and are proud of our Irish Heritage.  So, when these three books (along with their colouring book counterparts) arrived in the post, we were a bit impressed!  Self-Published author, Wayne Kearns, wanted to share these stories with his niece and nephews so decided to create some books for them.  "Interest from family and friends has led me down the self publishing route and making the books available through", says Wayne.  As a mother (and foster parent), I have read Irish Legends to many, many children over the years, but I can safely say that these books are something special.  Most books of legends are for an older reader and can become confusing for younger kids.  These are ideal to introduce children to the idea of Heritage and the whole concept of folklore and legend.  I thought I would recruit the help of some experts, and dropped off the books with Miss Sweeney, Primary School teacher at Collon National School, Co. Louth.  She had some great reading sessions with the boys and girls of senior infants and first class.  They all got to bring home some colouring sheets and are now all aware of the wonderful folklore of Ireland.  Find out what they thought of the stories below...

“Cú Chulainn”  by Wayne Kearns   

This famous Irish Legend is brought to life with the aide of wonderful illustrations and easy to follow wording.  While some the kids had some limited knowledge of the story of Cú Chulainn, some were hearing it for the first time.  The quotes below show how they really got into the tale and had their own ideas of how it would all turn out in the end...

Mid-way through reading:

“I think something is going to happen with a dog because it shows a dog on the cover.” Caoimhe (7)

“I think the book is very interesting.” Kate (7)

“I like it because you don’t know what’s going to happen next.” Amy (7)

“I really like the pictures in the book.” Rían (7)

“I like the cover because you’re not too sure what’s going to happen.” Dylan (7)

“I like the way Setanta is always happy in the book.” Clare (6)

Page 22 – Teacher asks “What’s going to happen?” :

“I think they might have a fight.” Ava (7)

“He won’t make it to the party and he’ll be sad.” Holly (7)

“The dog might try to eat him but he’ll escape.” Caoimhe (6)

Comments at the end of the book:

“My favourite part is when he was walking through the forest and he was scared.  I like scary things.” Clare (6)

“I like the colourful pictures.  They were very rainbow-ey.” Rhys (7)

“I liked the problem in it.” Ava (7)

“I thought it was weird because a sliotar wouldn’t kill a dog.” Adam (7)

“I didn’t expect the ending.” Ava E. (7)

“The Salmon of Knowledge” by Wayne Kearns. 

The children of Collon National School were big fans of this story.  Here are some of their reactions:

Page 23
“Maybe they’ll cut the fish in half and have some each and they’ll both be clever”. Caoimhe (7)

“They’re going to cook it”. Finn (7)

“I think they’ll take it home but the fish will escape when they’re not looking”. Holly (7)

“I think the fish will escape when the man is taking off the blindfold.  He is a very clever fish after all!” Rían (7).   

At the end of the story: 

“I really like the pictures!” Rían (7)

“I thought it was better than Cú Chulainn.  I liked the story better”.

“I liked it because it happened very close to us here on the River Boyne”. Katie (7)

“I really liked the names in it”. Wilson (7).


Unfortunately, we didn't receive feedback on Fionn and the Dragon before school closed for summer holidays, but will review in September...

Each of these titles are also available as beautiful colouring books, which were a hit with both teacher and pupils, alike...

All of Wayne Kearns titles can be ordered online from Amazon.


  1. The colouring book options are great to keep them occupied as well as the story

    1. Oh Yes! A good set of twistables and there can be hours of entertainment :)


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