Toby and Tess are twins. They live with their mother in a cottage on a village green. When their mother wants them out of the house, she sends them to the village green where they can play safely. The have a favourite spot: a bench underneath a big chestnut tree. Here one day they meet old Teller, the mysterious storyteller. Over the course of a few meetings with the children, the storyteller tells Toby and Tess six wonderful magical tales, each of them very different and each with a subtle moral to the tale.
Each tale is quite short and they rhyme beautifully which makes it the perfect book for reading aloud. A good reader will have children captivated with these tales. The stories are The Woodcutter's Daughter, St. Brigid's Cloak, The Seal Hunter, The Pedlar of Swaffham, Tam Lin, and The Map of Marvels. The book is brought to life by some lovely black and white drawings and silhouettes, reminiscent of some of the best children's books from years ago. A real gem of a young child's story book; a modern classic.
This is a wonderful book, which takes some traditional tales and puts them into verse, mixed up with a prose story. The tales in verse are exciting and both our children have enjoyed them (from the age of about 4, and our eldest is now 8). The illustrations and binding are really lovely, and this makes a lovely gift. I have bought several copies over the past few years, and they have all been well received. This is certainly a favourite in our family.