Other Books I Publish
I publish a number of books used by Waldorf schools and home schooling parents. There are wonderful titles here, real classics of literature. Some I have edited, footnoted and annotated; others just needed to be freshly typeset and the illustrations and covers renewed. Vendors and schools, please contact me for wholesale terms - thank you.
The wonderful, epic tale of Gilgamesh, by Bernarda Bryson. First written down in Sumerian cuneiform 3,000 years before the birth of Christ, the story of Gilgamesh tells of a great flood and one man, befriended by the gods, who survived by building an ark. In the feats of Gilgamesh and his companion, Enkidu, are found the sources of a number of great mythological heroes and tales.
This tale has numerous versions in different cultures spanning thousands of years. Bernarda Bryson has distilled it with wonderful sensitivity and tact. It is completely suitable for children. Bryson spent decades studying the myth and the archeology of the region and period - this can be seen in her illustrations and the mastery with which she tackles the story.
The book is in full color - it has over 80 lithographs and prints.
100 pages, 8.5 x 11 format, illustrated. $24.95. Purchase Book
"This is an excellent, complete tale of Gilgamesh. A wonderful book for middle school age children to read on their own. Excellent language, wonderful authentic illustrations from the clay tablets of the period." Amazon Review
The Children of Odin - The Book of Northern Myths
Meet Thor, Baldur, Freya, Odin and all the higher gods - and Loki too, mischief maker and clever deceiver. Filled with the most extraordinary tales of great depth, imagination and wisdom it is impossible to resist this wonderful book - and Colum's telling is outstanding. I have edited for clarity and added some footnotes for unusual words (not much of either was needed), as well as including a brief biography of Padraic Colum. This version is thoroughly appropriate for children - grade 4 and up. Willy Pogany has illustrated this edition with elegant drawings.
228 pages, 9x6 format, illustrated. $12.95 Purchase Book
The King of Ireland's Son
This classic is a standard item in the Waldorf school curriculum because of its depth and appropriateness for children. I have edited, endnoted and annotated this edition with teachers and the North American reader in mind. All those wonderful Celtic and Irish names have been given an endnote stating how they are pronounced and, if possible, their meaning. Also included are the many points of literary and cultural interest that are so easily bypassed but which add layers of depth and meaning (and often sly humor) to the story. As with my other Colum titles, I have newly typeset the book, added a map covering the geography of the story, and included a brief biography of the master storyteller himself.
The King of Ireland’s Son is without doubt the best of Padraic Colum’s children’s books. Originally published in 1916, this classic has stood the test of time and remains one of the greatest set of tales ever. These are no stories told by an academic or scholar, but rousing, living tales recounted from Colum’s own childhood in Ireland. There, as a boy, he heard firsthand the myths and sagas, folk and fairy tales from itinerant storytellers who wandered the roads and told their stories in exchange for a roof over their heads and a bite to eat. He was a witness to the last generation of a long tradition stretching far back into the mists of time. Colum won awards and recognition aplenty for his work in his adopted country, the United States, and for the whole of his long life he carried on the storyteller’s tradition. Even now, though he is long gone from us, his voice still sounds fresh and clear and full of life through the written text.
Willy Pogany, a Hungarian artist, was a contemporary of Colum. He illustrated this volume with a wonderful sense of artistic fantasy and playfulness.
254 pages, 6x9 format, illustrated. Price: $14.95. Purchase Book
Sticks across the Chimney ~ a story of Denmark
Richly layered with mystery and intrigue, Sticks Across the Chimney: A Story of Denmark, tells a captivating story of two Danish children and their widowed mother struggling to survive on a dilapidated farm. The mother's positive beliefs combined with the children's wit, compassion and creativity influence events and touch everyone around them.
When young Siri, Erik and their widowed mother buy a deserted farm with an ancient Viking grave mound on the land, they have no idea of the challenges and adventures that await them. First they must use their wits and humor to survive without money, as well as deal with superstitious townspeople. Later they participate in mysterious and exciting events that lead to the opening of the mound and the discovery of unbelievable ancient Viking treasures.
Scandinavian author Nora Burglon skillfully weaves Viking history, folklore, and archeology among the story fibers, bringing ancient sagas alive in fascinating detail. She writes authentically of rural Denmark in the 20th century, offering a rare understanding of the spiritual importance of land and sea in the everyday life of the people. Burglon is author to several other books, including Children of the Soil: The Story of Scandinavia, which received a Newbery Honor Award. Sample chapter
224 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 format, illustrated. Grade level: 4th $11.95 Purchase Book
"FAVORITE WITH MY DAUGHTER: As soon as we finished this book my seven year old daughter asked if we could go online and look for Sticks Across the Chimney 2. The characters are sweet, there is an overarching mystery/adventure, but it is mixed with everyday life vignettes that are sprinkled with humor, wisdom, and charm as they paint a picture of rural life in (early-mid) 20th century Denmark. Woven in with the story is a good bit of Viking history and culture, which makes it a good selection for unit studies about the Vikings." Amazon Review
The Last little Cat
The Last little Cat is a loving, compassionate book, perfect for the early reader. It was written by Meindert DeJong, the 1954 Newbery award winner for The Wheel on the School.
The last little cat was born in a kennel, surrounded by dogs and dog cages and dog noises. The little cat was always half-cold and half-hungry - until the day it fell into the cage of the old, blind dog. Then, for a while, the little cat was warm, and well fed. But how could such a small cat know that barn doors are closed at night and that there are people in the world who do not want to help a helpless kitten?
The story of how the last little cat found a home, and not only a home, but the perfect home, again confirms Meindert DeJong's place among the finest writers of this or any day.
Back in print after four decades, The Last Little Cat has a simple vocabulary and rhythmical text. An ideal book for 2nd - 4th grades, and younger children will delight in having the story read to them over and over again.
A sample from the book.
"A sweet and touching story about the friendship between a cat and a dog ... we fell in love with this book! The illustrations by McMullan are adorable! MY RATING: 5 stars!! We loved it!!" Amazon Review
"A Gentle Story of Love and Acceptance. I was given this book as a gift when I was six years old, and it promptly became one of my favorites." Amazon Review
70 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 format, illustrated. Grade level: 2nd-3rd $8.95 Purchase Book
The Boy who Knew what the Birds said
I fell in love with this magical set of tales. It has depth, artistry and drama but needed a helping hand to make it more accessible to contemporary children - especially North American kids. So I gave it a fresh editing with grade 4-8 children in mind. In addition to editing for clarity and pronounceability (Celtic spellings are sometimes impossible!), I refreshed the original illustrations, inserted footnotes where a word was uncommon or seldom used, added a section with characterizations and drawings of the birds mentioned in the book, included the Celtic Ogham alphabet referenced in one tale (plus examples for children to decipher, and encouragement for them to write their own Ogham), inserted a European and Ireland map showing geographical locations etc., and added a biography of Padraic Colum, with a description of his dramatic life and times in Ireland and his arrival in the land of hope, America.
158 pages, 6x9 format, illustrated. Price: $16.50. Purchase Book
The Gate Swings In ~ A story of Sweden
Minda is an orphan, taken in by her practical and less-than-enthusiastic aunt. Minda and her crafty goat, Stor Geta, struggle to find a place called home - and to get the money her aunt insists she must earn for her school clothes and shoes. She tries being a servant and house-help, an entrepreneur, even a herd-girl up on the mountains, but nothing comes easy. And yet there is much joy and adventure. She meets a young widow, the Mistress of Dalstorp, and together they face the world until at last they win through and find each other.
The Gate Swings In captures the mood, culture and wisdom of the Swedish folk. It is a perfect complement to Burglon's much loved Danish tale, Sticks across the Chimney.
216 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 format,, illustrated. Grade level: 4th-6th. $13.95 Purchase Book
The Boy apprenticed to an Enchanter
Padraic Colum is one of the most acclaimed storytellers of all time. Author of The King of Ireland's Son, The Children of Odin and The Children's Homer, his stories are bigger than life; they spark children's imagination and carry them through the world of myths and legends. The Boy apprenticed to an Enchanter is filled with intrigue, mystery and adventure. It tells the tale of Eean, the fisherman's son, who vanquishes the evil Zabulun with the aide of the King's horses, Bird-of-Gold and Merlin the Magician. His quest takes Eean to the Tower of Babylon where he defies his master, and he and Bird-of-Gold, the bramble gatherer's daughter, flee to Chiron the Centaur and Hermes Trismegistus in a desperate search of a helpmeet. Finally they come to the magical Island of the White Tower which rises into sight out of the western ocean on midsummer’s day, there to meet Merlin and to confront Zabulun in a final battle.
"This is an original tale by the wonderful Padraic Colum. It recounts the adventures of a boy, taken from his home to learn from a rather sinister enchanter, and his attempts to escape from his apprenticeship. Babylon and its fall, Hermes Tristemagus and Merlin and the Western Isles are just some of the people and places he visits on his way. Darker in tone and simpler in structure than "King of Ireland's Son" this book draws on the traditions of many lands to weave its spell. If you or your child enjoyed Colum's other books, then I can recommend this one without reservation." Amazon Review
136 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 format, freshly illustrated by Reg Down. $7.95 Purchase Book
The Being of the Arts
For those interested in the spiritual aspects of the arts I have translated Rudolf Steiner's The Being of the Arts. In what was announced as a lecture, Steiner instead begins to tell an extraordinary tale. It begins with two women standing in a stark and frozen landscape: one experiences the bitter cold, the other the extraordinary beauty. Both fall asleep, but while one falls into a sleep on the verge of death, the other is approached out of the sunset by a youth who says: ‘You are art’. She then undergoes a powerful set of experiences. Today we might call them vivid dreams, but that would be too passive. They are more than dreams; she performs deeds and becomes the bearer of mighty, creative impulses for the future.
This tale, told in 1909, has lost none of its originality and vividness. It is as relevant and powerful as when it was first told. It presents the reader with a series of images and beings drawn directly from the spiritual world, but in such a way that, through art, a bridge is built between the spiritual and earthly worlds.
This edition is freshly translated, with a foreword and endnotes containing illustrations and photographs of subjects and works of art mentioned in the course of the tale.