Written by
Peter Heaney
Nicola Heaney
Illustrated by
Conor Busuttil
Ulster Fairytales and Legends

One legend from each county of Ulster, evocatively illustrated by Conor Busuttil. Discover the origins of the Red Hand of Ulster, learn about Colmcille and the book of Movilla, and much more! Guaranteed to enthrall readers young and old.

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64 pages
280x220 mm

Where did the Red Hand, the famous symbol of Ulster, originate? It's the hand of Heremon, a chief so keen to be first to lay claim to the land that he cut his own hand off the threw it from a ship!

Not all legends from Ulster are so gory, of course, and in this collection we meet The Great Brown Bull, The Horsemen of Aileach, Paiste, The Great Black Pig, Maeve MacQuillan, Fintán, Febor and Fia and, of course, Colmcille and the Book of Movilla.

Evocatively illustrated by Conor Busuttil, this collection of myths from Ireland's northern province will enthrall readers young and old.

The Red Hand (Tyrone) 4
The Great Brown Bull (Armagh) 10
The Horsemen of Aileach (Donegal) 18
Paiste (Derry/Londonderry) 24
The Great Black Pig (Cavan) 32
Maeve MacQuillan (Antrim) 38
Fintán Escapes (Monaghan) 44
Febor and Fia (Fermanagh) 50
Colmcille and the Book of Movilla (Down) 58

Peter Heaney was a primary school teacher and story teller in his native Derry for more than 40 years. He believed that story-telling could create a rich world for children to explore and learn from. During his teaching career, exchanges with other story tellers provided many opportunities to share stories with children from Moscow to Kentucky.

Nicola Heaney was born and raised in Derry. After studying in Scotland, she moved to England where she taught English Literature to teenagers for over a decade before deciding to focus on her writing. Her poetry has been published in a number of journals across the UK and Ireland.

Conor Busuttil is a children’s picture book illustrator and passionate doodler. His most recent works include projects for the Blue Peter "Here be Dragons" competition, the exhibition and trail for Kew Gardens and working with Hampton Court Palace to bring their history to life for children. He was recently selected by The Eric Carle Museum as a rising star. 

Originally from a small rural village tucked away along the Strangford Lough, Co.Down, Conor currently works and generally hides away within the Welsh valleys where he puts pen to paper daily until his heart's content. 

A river demon, a copyright-violating monk, a giant serpent, a shape-shifting male drudge and a nasty teacher transformed into a pig are just some of the cast members of these engaging Ulster place-lore stories. The Cattle Raid of Cooley is told from an original angle: the brown bull’s misguided and arrogant perspective. Feisty girl and boy characters add further appeal for young readers. The spare narrative style redolent of Sinéad de Valera is complemented by the richly detailed and occasionally eerie illustrations by Conor Busuttil

Children's Books Ireland
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