Book Review: Pagan Portals – Stories for the Songs of the Year

I received an ARC from the author, this is an honest review. What a delight it is to read these stories! Fiona Tinker has woven a wonderful collection of tales from the cultures and folk history of these islands, in a way that is perfect to share with children. Readers of Pooka Pages will be already familiar with the adventures of Attila the Bun and Half-Tail Meg- and everyone else is in for a treat.

Photograph of the book cover for Stories for the Songs of the Year, with seashells and a candle.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure where to begin writing about this book- because there is so much wonderful material in it. Stories, by their very nature, evolve over time – especially those which come down from oral traditions. Fiona Tinker has picked up the threads of the tales which echo through Scotland’s rich heritage and re-woven them to be accessible for children with the adventures of Meg, Atilla, and friends. Books like Stories are so important in our modern world today, with all it’s distractions. Sharing these tales with the next generation can help us keep alive a sense of where we come from and what we can learn from the tapestry of our backgrounds – no matter how many different strands we may have. I’m delighted and heartened to find books like this are there to put your hand on. An excellent book for any Pagan parent.

I was delighted to find that in particular, this book has one of my favourites. There was a Samhain fire, perhaps more than a few years ago now, under a dark and chilly sky. We sat out late, surrounded by good company (living and otherwise) and I first heard the tale of Death and the Nut. It stuck with me, and will be something I share with my own daughter when she is old enough- along with all these stories. This book waits on her bookshelf- and I’m sure it will be dog-eared and much loved for a long time to come.

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