Magical Stories

A Collection of Short Stories for Children

Children - General
154 Pages
Reviewed on 12/14/2016
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Magical Stories: A Collection of Short Stories for Children by Píaras Ó Cíonnaoíth is an enjoyable and entertaining collection that will bring a smile to the faces of readers. The stories are fascinating and imaginative, and each one entertains and conveys insightful and thoughtful messages. Children get to see dragons, fairies, elves, mermaids, puppets, tigers, leprechauns, and many more whimsical characters through these stories, and they teach readers new things. The stories are original, they teach good virtues, and will make young readers more creative, and make their imaginations run wild.

All the stories are simple, engaging and magical, and they begin with a colorful illustration, followed by the story. They revolve around everyday emotions of friendship, trust, laughter, generosity, and other feelings that will definitely remain in the minds of readers after reading these stories. It’s an excellent bedtime storybook and can also be used for read aloud sessions in classrooms and school libraries.

The language is exquisite and will captivate the sensory perception of readers. The narration is detailed and descriptive and brings the characters and the scenes alive. It’s a book for the young and the old alike. Books like these make a good read to help children understand good values, virtues, concepts, ideas, morals, and messages via stories and magical characters. Storytelling is a good way of reaching out to children and this book does just that!

Grady Harp

Irish author and poet Píaras Ó Cíonnaoíth earned a Higher Diploma in General Counseling Skills and suicide prevention training. He also writes books for both children and adults. His positive and creative thinking, and his belief in the human spirit, make his books for children pleasant, interesting and exciting. His books for teenagers and adults gives way to more serious thought on issues such as gender identity, counseling and emotional healing.

Píaras’ Irish heritage places him in good company for fine authors – John Banville, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, Anne Enright, James Joyce, John McGahern, Flann O’Brien, Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde among them. There is something magical about the Irish gift of weaving yarns and Píaras certainly has that.

As he states in his Introduction – ‘The art of storytelling is a subject we learn from a very young age, and provides us with a better knowledge of literature, rhyme scheming, reading skills, and writing skills as well. A child's imagination is something that seems to fade away as we age, but this book I hope will keep that fire alive! Storytelling is an enduring and timeless human tradition. Prior to the written word, people would memorize detailed stories full of morals that have shaped our cultures for generations. We are simply wired for communicating through, and learning from stories. This book came about from persistent urges of my family and friends. They did not want me to keep the stories all to myself. “Why have all the fun?” they teased. And they were right. Storytelling is fun! This collection of children’s short stories spans over a forty year period. I remembered some of the stories and poems I wrote as a youngster and I thought I’d share them here with you now. They may not be ‘classics’ by no means, but I hope you and your family will have fun reading them.’

The stories may not be ‘Classics’ but they are so rich in flavor that they are utterly irresistible for the entire family. Since we are dealing with Irish magical stories Píaras offers a glossary of definitions for the various creatures and mythological characters at the end of the book. The stories allow the reader entry with their titles - Dali the Different Little Dragon, Finding a Fairy, The Puppet Show, Tilly the Polka-Dotted Tiger, Lilly and the Fairy Land, Timmy the Elf, Daisy the Dragon, Thomas and the Mermaid, Laura the Leprechaun, and The Adventures of William Scott. Each tale is like poking your hand deeper into your Christmas stocking for the next surprise. The keep us all young – and jolly! Grady Harp, December 16

Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

"Magical Stories:A Collection of Short Stories" by author and poet Píaras Ó Cíonnaoíth, is a marvelous stock of well written stories geared for children of all ages. The presentation is formulated in an easy going belles lettres style of writing.

The book begins with an engaging tale about "Dali the Little Dragon". Dali lives in a small town setting surrounded by mountains and natural wildlife settings. The dragon has smooth scales and a distinctive taste for apples. The second story is "Finding a Fairy". This tale portrays the character Molly basking in the sun, viewing summer blossoms and picking wild flowers. There is an interesting forest setting, travel along a stony path and a quaint village.

The stories are well written and geared to interest an audience of young children essentially in the primary grades. The author develops natural scenes, as well as, action characters and friendly animals.

Overall, "Magical Stories..." by Piaras O Cionnaoith is a gem of a book aimed at a young audience in the primary grades. The book may be used by librarians during formal periodic readings in a neighborhood library setting.

Pia Gonzaga

Magical Stories is a book that is full of enchanting fairy tales, which are aimed specifically at children, aged about four to eight years, but for absolutely everyone to enjoy even so! I think children aged up to about twelve would even enjoy them. My five year old loved them and my eleven-year-old daughter had great fun reading them to her brother.

There are wonderful chapter picture illustrations, but I was expecting more. The book seems to be focused more on reading skills instead. However, the chapter pictures will initially draw the child in and once you get passed that, it’s all about the imagination after that! Each chapter also begins with interesting quotes for and about children. My favorite was: ‘If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales, ‘by Albert Einstein.

The book contains 10 short stories that are all well written. Two of the stories, ‘Laura the Leprechaun’ and ‘The Adventures of William Scott’, seemed to be a bit on the macabre side, but my son seemed to be fascinated by them. I’m just saying this to let other parents know. It might be better to read them yourself first. I know I’m sounding like an over-protective parent...that’s because I am!

To be fair to the author, we absolutely enjoyed reading all of these stories. Our favorite was ‘Daisy the Dragon.’ What a wonderful and unique story! I don’t want to give too much away here, but all I’ll say is that it’s about a lonely and motherless dragon that has the sweetest ending I’ve ever read! I can’t ever remember reading a story quite like it.
I think this will be an all round winner for kids, parents, and teachers alike! I would highly recommend this wonderful book for kids. It gets three 5 stars from us!

MarkoP

A Wonderful Collection of Short Stories!

Magical Stories, by Irish author Piaras O Cionnaoith is a wonderful collection of short stories for young children. This exceptional compilation of children’s fairy tales are unique, imaginative and great fun to read.

There’s an assortment of fanciful characters ranging from fairies to mermaids, and dragons to good old fashioned puppets. These stories are sure to ignite your child’s imagination! The only trouble with this book is that it ends!

I’ll be looking forward to reading more from this author in the future!

Israel Drazin

The author of this delightful book tells us that all people aged 3 to 103 will enjoy the ten stories that he tells in this book, and he is right. I was 81 years old yesterday, and I enjoyed them. I shared the book with a grandchild and she enjoyed the stories too. They are called magical because they are wonderfully imaginative.
Each story is about seven pages. The book is 103 pages long, but while reading it, I felt it could have been longer; it was so good. The stories are introduced with thought provoking quotes from famous authors and with funny drawings. For example: Sam Levenson, “One of the virtues of being very young is that you don’t let the facts get in the way of your imagination.” John F. Kennedy, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
The writing is filled with humor, such as in the tale about Dali: “Dali the little dragon was fast asleep…laying on his back in a silly position that looked like an upside-down puppy eagerly going for a jog.” Dali had a best friend, an elf named Randy. They liked to walk together to town in the morning and return together at night. Dali did not breath out fire as other dragons. When he puffed flavorful candies came out that children liked. The children would collect the candies, as did Dali’s friend Randy who brought a bag along when the two walked to town so that he, like the children, could collect candies. Everyone liked Dali.
The story called “Lilly and the fairy Land,” to give another example, is about a nice young girl called Lilly who liked to sleep among the flowers that had her name. He mom told her about fairies, that they spread fairy dust on flowers that help them grow. Lilly listened and wondered if she had been napping among the fairies. When she went to sleep, she had a dream – but was it really a dream? She was as small as a fairy. She met a fairy and they became great friends. She also met a group of fairies and saved the fairies against the monster trolls. The book has a nice ending about when she was a mother and had a daughter.

Claire

For about a week, I read the enchanting stories in this book to my kids, one magical story at a time. We got to meet big and small dragons, fanciful and playful fairies, puppets, dotted and striped tigers, an elf with twelve brothers, beautiful mermaids, a leprechaun, trolls and wise wizard.

Each of the stories not only entertained us, the tales also taught my kids life lessons like the feeling of belonging, accepting one's flaws, proving one's worth, equality and fulfilling promises in order to find happiness, love and affection. Each of the stories are magical and original and will definitely entrance your child. A must read bedtime book for all ages!

Eric Z

This is my 2nd book from Piaras and I absolutely love it.
It is PERFECT for reading to your kids at bedtime.
The stories are entertaining and written in the RICH storytelling tradition of such greats as Oscar Wilde and Co.
The English is also exemplary and flawless.
Not to mention that each chapter is accompanied by vibrant colorful illustrations.
I highly recommend this book as a permanent part of your kids library!

Werner Stejskal

They are lovely stories for reading. It is not a picture book, although there are a few small pics. The stories are simple with nice language and will be more for smaller children. Kids who can read well will probably want books with more sophisticated plots. I find these stories should have had full sized pictures for visual support. If you like to read to your small children then this is the book for them. Well done, Piaras

JB

Excellent Bedtime Stories!
A really good book with 10 beautiful short stories that are well written. This is not a picture book, but each story starts out with its own beautiful picture of the main character.
Your children will love the stories and will dream about the tigers, dragons, elves, mermaids, leprechauns, fairies and fairy land.
Excellent Book!

Banana Joe

The author has done a fantastic job putting together a collection of stories for children including stories about Fairies, Dragons, Tigers, Puppets and so much more. The stories are the perfect length for a child and are entertaining from the first page. 5 stars from me!

wrouzer

I love Magical Stories because it helps instill virtues and a sense of security and trust in children by integrating and emphasizing concepts like generosity, friendship, hugs, laughter, trust, and rejecting differences.

All kids love stories about mermaids, dragons, puppets, elves, and tigers, etc, and this book will not disappoint their expectations in any of those categories.

This book is brimming with beautiful sensory perception by use of well crafted and flowing words like, “…the occasional whisper of wind and its rustling of lavender and the muted creaks from the shed…”

Each story starts out with its own beautiful illustrated picture of the setting and main character, followed by bright, colorful words to capture children’s interest and imagination.

If you want wholesome, enchanting stories that teach virtues, and will help stir your child’s imagination onto even greater levels of creative thinking, then I think Magical Stories is a good choice.