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Greyling: A Picture Story from the Islands of Shetland
by Jane Yolen (Goodreads Author)
A selchie, a seal transformed into human form, lives on land with a lonely fisherman and his wife, until the day a great storm threatens the fisherman's life.
Unknown Binding, 0 pages
Published January 1st 1975 by Collins & World
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On the Island of Shetland, in a hut covered with moss, there lived a fisherman and his devoted but lonely wife. All day long the fisherman labors to bring in fish for he and his wife while she is at home alone, day in day out year after year, looking at the cradle that continues to remain empty. Until one day the fisherman discovers a grey baby seal alone on the shore. This is no ordinary seal though but a selchie, a magical creature who takes the form of a man when on land and seal when in the ...more
May 16, 2012 Shonna rated it it was ok · review of another edition
It's a sweet story, but I can't help bristling a bit at the stereotyped woman. She feels totally empty and lost if she can't have a child, she becomes so attached to the selchie boy (turns to a seal in water) that she will not allow him to experience all aspects of himself for fear of losing him. When her husband is in danger of drowning she calls to others to go help him rather than try herself. There's also a spread where the illustrations don't seem to jive with the text. Overall, I enjoyed t ...more
Actually more like 3.5. The selchie story is interesting, the story beautifully told and the illustrations are lovely, but like Shonna I don't like the woman's helplessness and utter lack of identity apart from her husband and then child. It's not much of an excuse but it was published in 1968, so perhaps it's a sign of its time or maybe it's the traditional legend, and I'm just clueless. If so, I wish it had been updated a tad...
Mar 21, 2008 Dixie Diamond rated it it was amazing
I thought I owned this, but it turns out I just checked it out of the library so often I thought it was mine. I finally got my own copy a couple of years ago after I'd searched the house high and low and couldn't find "my" copy (because it had gone back to the library).
My 8 year old brought this home from the school library today, so excited. She told me she couldn't wait to share it, that I would "just love it!" She was right. What a darling tale, beautifully written.
I won this on school prize-giving day when I was in primary 3. I loved it, and I read and reread it time and time again. It certainly gave me a passion for storytelling. I'm too scared to read it again with an adult head, it might take away some of the magic...
Mar 13, 2014 Rachel Dalton rated it it was amazing
This short story is a great representation of family and love. It requires inferring to understand the characters' emotions and also can be used for practicing prediction.
Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...moreMore about Jane Yolen...