Sunday, March 25, 2018

Book Review: 'Magical Bedtime Stories' by Piaras O Cionnaoith

Irish author and poet Píaras Ó Cíonnaoíth earned a Higher Diploma in General Counseling Skills, a diploma in Psychology, Mental Health and Mental Illness, and Mental Health Studies – Suicide, Violent Behavior, Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention training. He also writes books for both children and adults. His positive and creative thinking, and his belief in the human spirit, make his books for children pleasant, interesting and exciting. His books for teenagers and adults gives way to more serious thought on issues such as gender identity, counseling and emotional healing.

Píaras’ Irish heritage places him in good company for fine authors – John Banville, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Anne Enright, James Joyce, John McGahern, Flann O’Brien, Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde among them. There is something magical about the Irish gift of weaving yarns and Píaras certainly has that.

As he states in his Introduction – ‘The art of storytelling is a subject we learn from a very young age, and provides us with a better knowledge of literature, rhyme scheming, reading skills, and writing skills as well. A child's imagination is something that seems to fade away as we age, but this book I hope will keep that fire alive! Storytelling is an enduring and timeless human tradition. Prior to the written word, people would memorize detailed stories full of morals that have shaped our cultures for generations. We are simply wired for communicating through, and learning from stories. This book came about from persistent urges of my family and friends. They did not want me to keep the stories all to myself. “Why have all the fun?” they teased. And they were right. Storytelling is fun! This collection of children’s short stories spans over a forty year period. I remembered some of the stories and poems I wrote as a youngster and I thought I’d share them here with you now. They may not be ‘classics’ by no means, but I hope you and your family will have fun reading them.’

The stories may not be ‘Classics’ but they are so rich in flavor that they are utterly irresistible for the entire family. The stories allow the reader entry with their titles – Coco’s Adventures, Finding Snuffy a Home, The Start of a Frendship, Judging a Book by its Cover, and Thee’s a Ghost in my Backyard. After the stories we are treated to ten brief but sensitive poems. This little book is akin to the famous ‘box of chocolates’ - they keep us all young – and jolly! Grady Harp, March 18

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.