Book review: The secret of the kelpie, by Lari Don, illustrated by Philip Longson

Don, Lari. The secret of the kelpie. Illustrated by Philip Longson.  Picture Kelpies/Floris Books, 2016. Unpaged. $17.95. ISBN 9781782502531. Ages 5-8. P8Q8

In this retelling of a traditional Scottish folk tale, Lari Don gives us the story of brothers and sisters who find a beautiful stray horse and are captured by the kelpie, a fairy shapeshifter, bent on drowning them in the loch.  Only the quick thinking of Flora, the youngest sister, saves them from the fairy’s intended evildoing.  Longson’s beautiful, haunted illustrations bring the story to life and his transformation of the kelpie from beautiful and majestic to monstrous is perfect.

Verdict: The story and illustrations pair beautifully to convey a traditional haunted and haunting tale.  Highly recommended for elementary and public library collections.

November 2016 review by Jane Cothron.

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