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The Selkie Girl
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The Selkie Girl

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  159 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A retelling of the legend from British coasts and islands in which a man falls in love with a beautiful seal girl and forces her to live on land and be his bride.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 1986 by Margaret K. McElderry
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Sea Creatures
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A lovely, poignant retelling of the traditional Celtic folktale about a young man who falls in love with a selkie, a seal who magically sheds her skin to become a woman on land one day each year. A good readaloud selection for children ages 4-8."

SPL Summary: "A retelling of the legend from British coasts and islands in which a man falls in love with a beautiful seal girl and forces her to live on land and be his bride."

SLJ: "Kindergarten-Grade 3. Cooper retells this ancient folktale from the coa...more
Pretty basic retelling of the "selkie bride" story, not really much elaboration aside from adding personal names. I did like that Cooper didn't shy away from the essential rape and imprisonment that characterize this story.

Hutton's illustrations are, as usual, completely uninteresting.
Harry Stoller
Most of all I wish I saw this book on YouTube. Usually from Children's Circle; The Pigs' Wedding and other stories.
What a lovely, eerie story! I wish I could have read this as a child, it would have blown my mind. I'm sure I would have believed in selkies and suspected every eccentric dark eyed woman who lived near any body of water of being a selkie. What a lovely, weird idea. I have a movie that's got this story in it, The Secret of Roan Inish. Very cool, beautiful but weird movie. This is folktales at their best!
Cynthia Egbert
I have a few versions of this story lying around the house but this might be my favorite as it puts the most positive spin possible on the whole concept. And most of the other versions do not mention the selkie having children in the sea. I find this story fascinating and kids love the tale, even though some little ones might get freaked out about the possibility of mama leaving.
First Line & Last Line:

"The islands rise green out of the sea, where the waves foam over grey rocks, and strange things may happen there."

A Perfectly gorgeous opening and closing to a story that is so close to my heart. Pretty much the same selkie story that's always told, but I'm glad the mother had more of a heart in this one, and explained the situation to her children.
Not sure if this is the actual version I read, but it is a haunting Irish legend of longing and the desire to control versus the need to free that which we truly love.
Intended Audience:
Personal Appeal:
The mystery of the story keeps your attention. The sadness is also
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I've always loves stories of selkies, and this is one of my favorites.
This book was great. Fantasy,mermaids, all that jazz.
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Susan Cooper's latest book is the YA novel "Ghost Hawk" (2013)

Susan Cooper was born in 1935, and grew up in England's Buckinghamshire, an area that was green countryside then but has since become part of Greater London. As a child, she loved to read, as did her younger brother, who also became a writer. After attending Oxford, where she became the first woman to ever edit that university's newspap...more
More about Susan Cooper...
The Dark is Rising (The Dark is Rising, #2) Over Sea, Under Stone (The Dark is Rising, #1) The Grey King (The Dark is Rising, #4) Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5) Greenwitch (The Dark is Rising, #3)

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