Celina Buckley, The Salmon of Knowledge, Starfish Bay Children’s Books, April 2019, 36pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760360702
This book by Celina Buckley is just gorgeous, as she retells a traditional Irish legend about an enchanted salmon. What makes it enchanted? The salmon swallowed nine hazelnuts fallen into the water from hazel trees grown over “an ancient well of wisdom”, now making the salmon the holder of all the knowledge and secrets in the world; ready to be imparted to the first person who eats it.
Finnegas, a very wise and elderly poet dedicates himself to the pursuit of catching this salmon; but will he succeed? Finnegas meets a young boy, Fionn, on a journey to become a brave warrior; but Fionn cannot do this without the mentoring and teaching of the wise poet. They come together as teacher and student; but who will have a taste of the Salmon of Knowledge? Certainly, a tale that evokes enthusiastic page turning, to learn what will come of the poet, the warrior in training, and the enchanted salmon.
Buckley depicts this legendary tale with distinct, bright eye-catching colour, and creatively designed collage. A lovely complement for a unique legendary tale.
A nice addition to the book sharing list for the 5-8 year old.
Reviewed by Sonia Bestulic