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Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain & Ireland

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  270 ratings  ·  82 reviews
The definitive collection of British and Irish folktales from master storyteller and poet Kevin Crossley-Holland.

Rich and strange, these eerie and magical folktales from across Britain and Ireland have been passed down from generation to generation, and are gathered together in a definitive new collection from the master storyteller and winner of the Carnegie Medal, Kevin
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 4th 2018 by Walker Books
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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Miranda Reads
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
The Dark Horseman
"And who shall we put in the coffin?"
"No need to draw lots" said the leader. "Lay Jemmy Nowlan in the coffin."
Poor Jemmy Nowlan is whisked away on an unbelievable that take his life at any moment. This one was interesting but a bit abrupt with the plot - things shifted...really quickly.

Three heads of the Wall
And the princess felt quite powerless to overcome the growing distance between them. There was no place for Eleanor i
Whispering Stories
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed on

Author Kevin Crossley-Holland has done his research into folktales from Britain and Ireland and compiled them into one book featuring forty-eight different short stories split into six different themes, including Magic and Wonder, Adventures and Legends, Fairies and Little Peoples, Love, Wits, Tricks and Laughter and Ghosts.

It took a while to go through each of the stories and I was hoping that at some point in the book I would have that moment when one
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Folktales are magical portals to the past, passed down from generation to generation. Magical beings, morality lessons, social commentary, legends, tales of heroes, revenge, evil....there's a little bit of everything in folktales. I'm especially fond of tales from Ireland and's in my DNA. Plus it's the perfect time of year to enjoy some old tales of strange, eerie and legendary happenings. And, this book delivers! Great stories! Awesome illustrations!

I read this book slowly, savor
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction

*Rated 3.5/5 stars

Does Britain have its own set of folk and fairy tales? We hear so much more about the German classics, made famous by the Brothers Grimm. But believe it or not, they do exist, and Kevin Crossley-Holland has brought them into our modern day.

Covering many different stories split into sections such as love, little people and ghosts, Kevin Crossley-Holland retells the folktales in a simplistic but lowkey whimsical way. While the simple
Sarah Booth
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'd say 4.5 stars. Great stories about things that go bump in the night or that are on the roads you travel. Some designed to scare, some to instill morals but all pretty interesting. Listened to some of them while stuck in traffic which was made bearable by these interesting tales.
Purchased the audio book on Chirp for cheap.
Good narrator.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
There's a reason the Brothers Grimm fairy tales are widely spread and these ones aren't, and it's not just better marketing. Kevin Crossley-Holland has done a remarkably good job of bringing all of these 50+ tales together with incredible illustrations and a unique spin, but despite claims that these are timeless tales I'm not sure they really are.

Most of the stories contained within this anthology are very short, often with a key message or motto as per folklore tradition and some are perhaps
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read early for an honest review.

This book has a wide range of stories separated by subject (adventure, love, ghosts, fairies, etc). The stories themselves were pretty short and good for reading as bedtime stories or as a group. But there weren't any that would stay with me after I've finished.
Rebecca Reviews
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Kevin Crossley-Holland’s Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland is filled with fascinating tales of magic and fantasy. I enjoyed this collection of brief and interesting short stories. But, a few tales are disjointed and meandering. I like Frances Castle’s simple art but I wish it was more interesting.

These eerie and magical folktales from Britain and Ireland are populated with kings and queens, princes and princesses, as well as crafty commonfolk, giants, ghosts, and faeries. Some pa
Miss Bookiverse
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
On the one hand, I love fairy tales and folk stories because of their magic objects, talking animals, and the call of adventure. On the other hand, I sometimes struggle reading the original stories. They were recorded at a different time, of course, and this sometimes shows in bland, simplistic, or repetitive writing. I do love a good retelling, but I’m also curious about the original stories and that’s why this collection of tales from Britain and Ireland is such a great book. Kevin Crossley-Ho ...more
Encountering Crossley-Holland's writing is always a delight. He is, without doubt, one of our most gifted wordsmiths and in this collection he uses his talents to honour and embrace the language and voice of a time lost. In this collection of British and Irish folk tales (I write this wide-eyed that other reviews don't think we have a heritage here). Between Worlds' stories span our isles, exploring six different themes: Magic, Legends, Fair Folk, Love, Wit and Ghosts. At the collection's conclu ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to start the year off right and I've never ever regretted reading fairy stories and folklore, even when I didn't like them.
These ones I liked very much.
Rebecca Hill
If you are looking for a step back in time, and a "cannot put this book down" then you need to check this one out! I LOVED it! There are some great tales and stories, and each one takes you down a different path. It was amazing.

As a history teacher, I loved reading this, as I can recommend this book to my students! I will be blasting this one on social media to as "the must-read book for Fall."

Thank you to NetGalley and Candlewick Press for an ARC copy of this book for a unbiased review. All vie
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Tedious. Reading a book of folktales about the UK and Ireland would be great for if you're visiting places. 'Hey, I've heard a great story from Cornwall...' etc. This tome wont help you at all. First, the sources for the stories aren't listed until the end of the book so unless you're going to go through the whole book again of no use. Second, the author massively editorialises each of the stories, adding elaborate descriptions and ornate language, making it quite difficult to retell these stori ...more
This is such a brilliant book for anyone interested in some strange fairy/folk tales of Britain and Ireland. The book is seperated into different sections and each contains a wealth of different folk tales, some of which you may have heard of and some of which you haven’t. There’s such a range of different stories of different lengths that there’s bound to be a favourite for everyone in here, from tales featuring fairy people and boggarts to legends of knights, silly villagers and even strange g ...more
Evan Hays
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, classics, fantasy
This sort of book is about as close as we can get to traveling back in time. Thanks to Neil Gaiman for recommending this, although I have read 4 other books by Crossley-Holland before, and enjoyed them all.

I am not a folklorist, but I have always loved to read folk and fairy tales. Of course, when I was young, I loved to read them just for the stories, and often the kind of mystery of the stories. I remember finding some copy of original (not Disney-ified) folktales on a bookshelf in my house, p
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This collection of folktales is split into different themes: Magic and Wonder; Adventures and Legends; Fairies and Little People; Power, Passion, and Love; Wits, Tricks, and Laughter; Ghosts. The st9ories themselves come from all over Great Britain, Ireland, and from some of the smaller islands. Many have a variety of versions, and only one is used here. Some are very short, others a bit longer. There is an English version of Rumplestiltskin, and a version of Cinderella. All are fun to read.

Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book thanks to Net Galley and publisher Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.

This book was everything I hoped for and more. It is essentially a collection of very readable fairy/folktales, most of which I hadn't heard of before and I thoroughly enjoyed. They are told in such a way that both children and adults can appreciate them and they all run a really good length so you can binge several of them at once. I can't really say much about this collection. If
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forty-eight folk and fairy tales from Britain and Ireland; some you've heard before, most will be new to you. The tales are organized by Magic and Wonder; Adventures and Legends; Power, Passion, and Love; Wits, Tricks, and Laughter; and Ghosts. This is a wonderful tome for your fantasy and fairy/folk tale collections; especially, if, like me, you love having a collection of tales from all over the world. Some are short enough to read aloud, others are longer and invite readers to sit down, have ...more
Beth Cato
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an advance galley of this book through NetGalley.

The author, Kevin Crossley-Holland, mentions at the end that his intent with this collection was to take old tales and reclothe them in clean, bright, direct language. He succeeded. The collection flows between England and Ireland and all around the isles, and includes tales unfamiliar and familiar. His takes are entertaining and feature men and women and fairies and specters. The end of the book was a special delight for a research gee
I received this book via LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchanged for an honest review.

Created to entertain one night and retold over the years then centuries, folktales came down to the early modern times in oral form before being written down before they were lost forever. Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley-Holland is collection of nearly 50 tales that cover a variety of fantastical territory. Amongst the titles that I personally liked “The Dead Moon”,
Annette Jordan
A varied and interesting collection of tales, some more familiar than others, Between Worlds by Kevin Crossley=Holland takes the reader on a journey of adventure and whimsy, Along the way we meet fairies and giants, monsters and knights and travel all over the islands of Ireland and Britain. Some of the stories are funny, some designed to frighten, but all are told in a lyrical yet concise manner. Dotted among the prose are some stories told in verse and it is clear that the author has done his ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jnf-300-folklore
He divides the stories into six sections: Magic, Legends, Fair Folk, Men and Women, Wit, and Ghosts. There are 6 - 8 stories in each section. Some of them are retold in folktale style, but others are retold more as contemporary prose, in the first person by one of the characters. Anyway, I found all of the stories fascinating, only a few were familiar to me. It was illustrated with lovely silhouettes. After the stories is a section giving the source of each story.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable insight into British & Irish folklore! I’m quite surprised I liked this considering I didn’t enjoy Crossley’s other retellings!
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this, in exchange for my honest opinion. This will be available to purchase on October 8th.

This is the sort of book I love. I’m a huge fan of fairy stories and folktales, especially those from Ireland. They’re rich and magical. So, I went into this with the expectation that I’d enjoy it. And I did, indeed.

This is a very well-rounded collection. There were some stories that I’d already heard versions of, such as Tom-Tit-Tom, but also many that I hadn’t
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Charming collection of stories, fables, and myths! I found this to be an enjoyable read.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mythology, good-books
Look at this amazing cover!


This book is full of British and Irish folktales. There are 48 short stories (if I counted correctly). Most of these contain a key message as many folktales do.

The stories are categorized into sections:
- Magic and Wonder
- Adventures and Legends
- Faries and little people
- Love
- Wits, Tricks and Laughter
- Ghosts

These are good stories and I liked reading this book. The only thing is that the stories were a bit too short for my liking. Because of this, I could not conn
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic collection, and aptly named. Written in classic fairytale style, it’s also unique, lyrical, colorful and strange, giving it that otherworldly feel characteristic of the genre; not here or there but somewhere, in-between worlds where all manner of unexpected things can happen. With expert care, the author has brought together fresh, obscure tales with well-imagined familiar ones, breathing new life into something timeless. Beautiful and highly recommended.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was rooting around in a bookstore in Ireland, looking for something to remember the trip by. I pondered the Yeats and Wildes, until I found this gem. Not my intention to get a book of English and Irish folk/fairy tales, but Kevin Crossley-Holland’s writing just caught me from the first page.

I won’t waste time going over in detail the odd and fanciful and unquestionably Celtic stories -- though a personification of the moon going down to the moors/bogs to see all the monsters she keeps at bay w
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fifty folktales – Irish, British, Welsh and Scots – illustrated and bound in a stunning hardcover edition that you want to treasure for years. What could be better?

Only having the folktales retold by a master storyteller like Kevin Crossley-Holland :)

This lovely book, beautifully illustrated by Frances Castle, features fifty tales split into six categories: magic and wonder; adventures and legends; fairies and little people; love; wit, tricks and laughter; and ghosts. The first three sections we
Elisha Jachetti
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
BETWEEN WORLDS: FOLKTALES OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND is a collection of short stories that have been passed down over centuries in the United Kingdom. Most of these legends and myths were first committed to writing more than one hundred years ago and have probably existed via oral lore way before that. Having amassed all these gems into one book, Kevin Crossley-Holland presents these stories with a slight hand. Instead of using the originals as a jumping off point for new work or reimagining, he upd ...more
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Kevin Crossley-Holland is a well-known poet and prize-winning author for children. His books include Waterslain Angels, a detective story set in north Norfolk in 1955, and Moored Man: A Cycle of North Norfolk Poems; Gatty's Tale, a medieval pilgrimage novel; and the Arthur trilogy (The Seeing Stone, At the Crossing-Places and King of the Middle March), which combines historical fiction with the re ...more

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