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Brigid's Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story

Brigid's tale begins on "a wild and windy night" when a girl is born, the slave daughter of a warrior prince. The baby is visited by a Druid, who declares, "I am one of the fathers of Old Ireland. I greet little Brigid, who will be a mother to the new Ireland that is to come." He leaves the infant with a rich blue cloak and a magic blessing

Ten years later, Brigid is magically transported to a stable, where she meets a man, his wife, and their infant son. She lends her cloak to the new mother and blesses her and the baby. Back in her own lands, Brigid finds herself strangely missing the family from the stable -- but her cloak is now covered with a field of stars.

This tale of the fifth-century Irish saint combines the familiar appeal of the folk tale with a sense of religious awe. An author's note at the end explains more about Brigid and the stories about her and her cloak.

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"Milligan's folktale-flavored telling, which incorporates elements of Druidic and early Christian beliefs, introduces Brigid, one of Ireland's favorite saints, in a story that reveals the origin of her reputation for generosity. Borders of Celtic designs frame Cann's mixed-media pictures and add both authenticity and wonder to the tale, which begins with her birth and goes on to tell of a vision in which she is transplanted to Jerusalem at the time of Jesus' birth, welcomes Mary and Joseph, and helps care for the newborn baby Jesus. A full-page close-up of a Druid wizard holding the infant Brigid, wrapped in the blue cloak he gave her, is particularly impressive; his light-green eyes exude wisdom as his white hair flows around his face. Just as good is the portrait of the Holy Family, with Brigid in their midst, which evokes the peace and happiness Brigid feels at Mary's kind words, "Thank you, child of the West. Your generosity will be remembered always." -- Diane Foote, Booklist

Product Details

Recommended Age 5 - 9
Author Bryce Milligan
Illustrator Helen Cann
ISBN 0802852971
Publication Date Aug 23, 2005
Publisher Eerdmans Books For Young Readers
Language English