Review : Oisin the Brave- Moon Adventure

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
― 
Philip Pullman

The hour goes back this weekend, which for us means no more playing out the front until dinner, and generally a lot more time spent indoors. I am without doubt a Summer person – I loathe the short days and dark evenings, but the silver lining is getting to pull the curtains, turn on the lights and settle down for a good read (not forgetting the imminent arrival of Christmas of course!). So rather than putting the television on earlier than normal, I am going to dedicate that time to encouraging the children with their reading.

Quality Time!

Quality Time!

Like most things we endeavour to do, reading can sometimes get put on the ‘no time today, will do it tomorrow’ list. I am all about just doing the essentials in a day but, in my opinion, reading is a daily essential. There are numerous skills that children develop through reading, such as patience, concentration, imagination and self-reflection, in addition to expanding their vocabulary, and learning about the world, both real and imagined. Conversations that can start from a simple story. A word that needs to be explained. The independence of finding things out for themselves. These are all invaluable life skills learnt just from picking up a book and enjoying a good read!

I am always interested in promoting small Irish businesses so I was absolutely thrilled to receive my copy of “Oisín the Brave – Moon Adventure” from Derek Mulveen and Michelle Melville for review. A couple from Galway (here is their Facebook page) who co-write and illustrate the “Oisin” series of books. The aim of the books is to gently introduce the ‘cúpla focal’ to children aged three to seven years. Perfect for my gang.

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So what about the book?

This is the first book in the ‘Oisin the Brave’ series (the second will be launched in November) so its main aim is to introduce the title character, along with ‘Orane the dragon of N’Scaul’ and ‘Princess Eire’. Oisin and the dragon live in Tir na N-óg, and when they see a bright light pulsating from the moon they head off in a rocket ship to investigate!

What I thought:

The illustrations are lovely and bright and definitely engaged my children. I got a kick out of the little details like the shape of Ireland being the only country visible from space, and the Irish flag already on the moon. The language is quite simple, and the names of the ‘moononians’ they encounter are one to five ‘as gaeilge’- a lovely way to get the children reading Irish. The story itself although a teeny bit disjointed here and there builds well but ends with perhaps less excitement than anticipated. That said, the book does introduce the three main characters quite well. Maybe a little more could have been written about how the light came to be on the moon and a little less on looking for the light. All in all though I enjoyed it as a children’s book and the patriot in me loves the idea of promoting the Irish language in childrens books.

We made it to the moon!

We made it to the moon!

What the children thought:

My two year old sat down beside me and listened intently to it. She definitely enjoyed the art work and loved the friendly dragon. She thought the aliens looked ‘like poos’ (her words not mine), which she liked although I am not sure that was the illustrators intended!

My five year old son really enjoyed it – there is a little worm in the pictures who has his own journey through the book much to my son’s delight. There are a few pages at the back of the book with the Irish for words featured in the story and he liked that. He also figured out why the ‘Moononians’ were called their particular names.

My seven year old enjoyed reading it but thought it could have been a little more exciting. Her favourite part was meeting Princess Eire.

I would recommend this book to anyone trying to encourage the use of the Irish language. It is reasonably priced at €6.99 and available in Eason’s and bookshops nationwide. If your local bookshop doesn’t have a copy you can always ask them to get it in. It is also available online at www.eireskids.com and can be personalised on request. A great gift for friends or family abroad!

Thanks for reading

Aisling

Disclaimer – I received a copy of Oisin the Brave – Moon Adventure for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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