See, and sing, what a determined woman can achieve

See, and sing, what a determined woman can achieve
The Song of Brigid’s Cloak by Catherine Ann Cullen Illustrated by Katya Swan (Beehive, €14.99/£14.99)

There has been great interest in St Brigid of late among historians and writers. Some of these have been in their way controversial; but there is nothing controversial about this little book. It is altogether delightful.

Award-winning children’s poet Catherine Ann Cullen has created a rhyming poem which can easily be learned off and sung with relish.

She has taken the medieval legend of St Brigid’s cloak and how it was stretched to cover enough land to build a church in Kildare, land that the local king, an angry roaring old greybeard, had refused the determined young woman that Brigid was.

“‘Cause nobody gets as rich as me/by giving their fields to the poor for free…”

Would he give her, she asked, as much land as her little cloak would cover? He laughed at her. That little cloak. He would indeed.

With the help of her followers she pulled out the fabric in a marvellous way, till it covered all the land she needed – this is a local adaption of a very ancient myth found all over Europe.

The king had laughed at her, but she carried the day. He sees the error of his ways, and becomes her kind friend, sending his men to help with the building.

This may well be a book for Christmas come early, but it is still worth buying at any time, for it is great fun at any season of the year. We will look out for more books from this creative team.