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The Names Upon the Harp: Irish Myth and Legend
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The Names Upon the Harp: Irish Myth and Legend

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  216 ratings  ·  32 reviews
This collection of Irish folktales, compiled by respected folklorist Marie Heaney, is enhanced by Lynch's stunning artwork. Tales include The Birth of Cuchulain and Finn and the Salmon of Knowledge. Full-color illustrations.
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I picked up this book for P.J. Lynch's beautiful illustrations, but I enjoyed these Irish tales as well. Most of them were familiar to me. "Deirdre of the Sorrows" is still my all-time favorite Irish folktale. I had fun trying to guess the pronunciations of the Irish names. Thankfully, there was a pronunciation guide at the end of the book. I was way off most of the time! This book serves as a nice introduction to the three cycles of Irish traditional literature. Recommended, especially around ...more
If anything, read this for the beautiful illustrations by the ever-talented P.J. Lynch. They're absolutely gorgeous.
William Hiser
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: etec-545-class-4
Myth (3 in 1)
The Names Upon the Harp: Irish Myth and Legend, written by Marie Heaney and illustrated by P.J. Lynch, is a 96 page children’s book of magic and myths. It was written for grades 3 – 6, ages 8 – 12. This is a collection of stories of 9 mythological characters from Irish legend that use a variety of motifs: trickery, magical objects, greed, betrayal, etc. They are 5 -6 pages in length and include anecdotes, jokes, ogres, giants, religion and the supernatural. of fiercely fought
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
So I'm not up on Irish myths and such I generally stick to Greek mythology but this wasn't a bad book. Although I feel as though everything always ended badly for the protagonists like no happy endings anywhere. (view spoiler) ...more
Austria Kovalenko
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It took me so long to finish this book ... Maybe because the names are all so foreign to me. When I finally reached the end, I really didn't want the stories to be over.

It seems I have began my journey to Celtic mythology about time, aye?
This is an absolutely beautiful book in both words and illustrations. I loved every page. I only wish it were longer. Highly recommended for fans of fairy tales or myths.

I read most of it out loud to David and he really enjoyed it too.
Bryce  Bodily
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eng-356-17-25
I was able to get a hold of this for a YA class, but I went through it mostly for fun. Honestly it was very interesting to read and I loved the pictures. It added a depth to the story that made it just that much more fun to read. I liked that it had various Irish stories that ranged over quite a span of time.

It was so much fun to read this mostly because I was doing it as a stress reliever from all of my other homework. I felt like it was fun to go through these different stories of warriors. I
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
This volume of nine tales has superb design and layout; unfortunately, the content falls a bit flat. Celtic designs decorate the endpapers and the text has an illuminated character at the start of each story, giving an ancient flavor to the book. This design should have been carried over to frame the illustrations. The paintings themselves range from muted to vibrant, and some seem similar to a Magic playing card.

Heaney gives the reader tales from each of the three cycles of early Irish
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Ireland is ripe with lush tales of bravery, honor, and magic. Divided into three cycles – Mythological, Ulster, and Finn, Heaney presents tales of the Fae, Druids, and folk heros of her native homeland. With a dark pallor cast over the stories, the figures of Irish lore suffer without complaint through death, despair, misfortune, and heartache; there are no happily-ever-afters for these characters, reflecting the tumultuous history of this island nation. Aided by Lynch's rich watercolor and ...more
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 430
This was a really neat read. It was a different kind of read for me (I don't usually go for legends or myths), but I enjoyed it a lot. The stories were beautiful, and the illustrations that accompany them really added to the mood of the book--they are breathtaking. It was a little difficult for me to keep track of characters because the names are so unfamiliar to me, but other than that, I had no hiccups with the book.

Although it's short, the language is sophisticated, so I would recommend this
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-lit-2
This compilation of short stories and myths based on the Celtic culture was fantastic! The illustrations were absolutely breathtaking and it made me want to go back to Ireland. The stories were very informative about the myths that have built the Celtic culture and the way that the Irish behave themselves, based on ancient myths and legends.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys mythology as well as legends. I would also recommend this to anyone who loves hero stories. This would be a very
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've owned this book for quite some time now, and I still remember when I ordered it from the Scholastic book order pamphlets many years ago. To be frank, I was a bit disappointed by how scanty a volume this was! As many stories as there are in Irish folklore,I feel a few more could've been added. However, the ones that are here are the most common ones, and definitely a good starter--especially for the younger crowd (as in my age group when I first read it). Given the absolutely beautiful ...more
Andrea Grantham
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved the illustrations of this book, they are gorgeous and detailed. I also really loved how each myth interconnected with the other folklore, it was so fun that I was kind of giddy after I read it. It was kind of like a picture book for adults. I would love to read this book to my kids someday. I would recommend it to young kids, I didn't feel like it was intended for older teenagers, but art students or students interested in myths and culture would probably get a kick out of this book.
Ms. Biesecker
Category: Folklore (multicultural, international)
Author: Marie Heaney
Illustrator: P.J. Lynch
Title: The Names Upon The Harp: Irish Myth and Legend
Publication date: 2000
Brief annotation: A collection of tales from Irish folkloric traditions
Themes: Fantasy, mythology, Ireland, fairy tales, legends
Ways to use the book with children: introduction to Irish mythology, examining ways the illustrations compliment/enhance the stories
Jun 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Absolutely, stunningly gorgeous illustrations, but the storytelling was a bit disappointing. One cannot tell these stories in a dry academic recitation--they need the taste of Irish gusto and heart in order to be magical, and Marie Heaney seems to have missed this somehow. The tales themselves, though, are lovely enough to pique this myth-lover's interest. I'll read them again in more detail elsewhere, and treasure this copy's masterful artwork.
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Nearly thirty years ago I had the wonderful privilege of visiting Ireland and I have never forgotten that isle's 'magic.' It is indescribable. Marie Heaney, however, wife of the eminent poet Seamus Heaney, and artist P. J. Lynch have managed to capture the beauty and enchantment I felt there in this wonderful book. These stories have been like oxygen to so many creative minds, and mine as well. They are simply breathtaking. Curl up with it and a spot of tea and you will feel transformed!
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
My favorite part about this book were the illustrations. So beautiful and vibrant! I was surprised that it was so graphic for a children's book, considering there was quite a bit of blood, violence, and nudity (not extremely revealing but you could tell that they weren't wearing clothes) I don't have a problem with it at all, but I'm sure there are some parents out there that would throw a fit.
The stories were good, I would like to read them again but maybe in a more adult form.
Sean Mcguire
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: final-books
Wow! Just wow! The art was just amazing. The style is so different than others that I have seen. And the stories in it! I am very celtic. I have great pride in my heritage. I just loved these stories. They were just so amazing. I especially loved the story of the swans. It was very touching the love of the siblings.

I would recommend this book to anyone with celtic heritage, or anyone who likes mythology.

Warnings: violence
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I consider this book to be one of the treasures I brought back from my trip to Ireland. I mean, the land is rife with historical and mythical stories, including faeries, which is a genre that dominates books now. To read the rest of this review, please visit A Reading Kabocha @
I’m fascinated by Ireland and all things Irish. This book was lying on the floor of the lobby. I picked it up to return it, saw the title, and promptly checked it out. It’s a good introduction into Irish mythology for youngsters (and oldsters).
John Peel
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Irish myths aren't as well-known as those of Greece or Rome, or even those of the Norse, but they're strange and fascinating. The author chooses to retell a handful of the best, and they're a delight to read. The artwork by P.J. Lynch sparkles.
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, library
Nine stories from Irish myths, including Cuchulainn, Deirdre, Oisin, and the children of Lir, are aptly retold by Marie Heaney and beautifully illustrated by P.J. Lynch. The world they portray is violent and mysterious, beautiful and fleeting.
Amanda Coppedge
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: celtic, read-in-2013
Great for telling. Pronunciation guide for each story in the back.
Feb 21, 2012 added it
The Names Upon The Harp: Irish Myths And Legends by Marie Heaney (2000)
May 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a book of traditional Irish myth and folklore. It is very well arranged and retold, and the pictures are GREAT! The kids loved it.
Susan Gibson
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Charlene McCormack
Apr 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
Dense stories rich in lore. The images were also complicated, rich, and could be dark. I did not find this a fun read. It was too serious for me.
F. O.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales
Well-written and beautifully illustrated but wow, Irish myths are DEPRESSING.
Chacha Centeno
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite but simple Celtic Mythology books.
Paula Soper
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
AMAZING illustrations. Well-written stories. An all-around GREAT book.
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