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The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell by Gary…
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The Wonders of Donal O'Donnell

by Gary Schmidt

Other authors: Loren Long (Illustrator)

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This picture book centers around three peddlers, who share their short stories of their struggles as lost boys and how they were found again. Their short stories inspire wonders to the family of Donal O'Donnell and Sorchia, who struggles with the lost of their son. Basically this picture book is really three short stories wrapped within a fourth story. The style of this book is powerful when the author uses several short stories of the peddlers that leads to the main story of the overall book. In other words, the thee short stories are subplots that leads to the main plot of the book, which is clever when it comes to telling folktales. All in all, it's an enjoyable book to read to young students about the Irish folklore and their culture and tradition. ( )
  jhcao20 | Feb 13, 2016 |
When three peddlers stop at the home of Donal and Sorcha O'Donnell one bitterly cold night, they are only grudgingly welcomed by the couple, who are consumed by their grief at the death of their young son. But as each peddler relates a tale, each one more wondrous than the next, each one telling of a young boy lost in some fashion and then recovered, they slowly begin to come to terms with their loss.

I will confess that I avoided this title when it was first released, as I generally frown upon books that style themselves as "folktales" when they are not. Of course, the three embedded stories told by the peddlers are taken from the Irish folk tradition (although no attribution is given), but the tale in which they are framed is an original creation of Gary Schmidt. Having said this, I finally read through this the other day, and discovered that I liked it after all...

I found myself moved by this tale of parental grief, and by Schmidt's poetic language. I also found myself in agreement with the book's main premise: that folktales have the power to transform and heal us. A most welcome message for any folklorist! The illustrations by Loren Long had a luminous quality that perfectly conveyed the emotions of the characters. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jun 27, 2013 |
I do not know much about Ireland so some things were a little confusing. I did not enjoy the story. ( )
  ArielDean | Mar 21, 2013 |
I like this book very much. It's difficult if one does not know much about Ireland's culture, however. Much research would need to be done to understand it. Also, I read a book about the mythical giant of Ireland, Finn McCool. Though his name is spelled differently in this book, I thought it was fun to see it told in this book again. ( )
  bamabreezin4 | Apr 15, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Schmidt, Garyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Long, LorenIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805065164, Hardcover)

Celebrate the magical power of storytelling

"If it’s wonders you’ll be after, it won’t be far that you’ll have to go."

The heart of Donal O’Donnell, like his farmhouse door, has been bolted shut since the day his son died. So when he returns from tending his puck goats in the freezing sleet of a winter storm to find three peddlers huddled at his hearth, he is furious with his wife, Sorcha.

But then, one by one, the peddlers begin to tell their tales—tales of marvels and mystique—and slowly Donal O’Donnell and Sorcha begin to experience a wonder greater than they had ever hoped for.

The story of this wonder is told in the interweaving of four traditional Irish tales with illustrations full of magic and mystery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:32 -0400)

The stories of three peddlers are told to Donal O'Donnell and his wife one stormy night and begin to heal their hearts, broken by the death of their son.

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