The wind groaned and swirled that night and likely it seemed to tear
the thatch from the roof. But when the baby gave her first cry, the
wind shushed to a whisper and the stars began to sing.
Brigid's Cloak retells an ancient tale about one of Ireland's most beloved saints. On the day she is born Brigid receives a brilliant blue cloak from a mysterious Druid. Years later, the young girl still wears the now tattered but beloved cloak while she tends her sheep. Is it her imagination that suddenly takes her to an unfamiliar land? Or is it something far greater that leads Brigid to a crowded inn in a town called Bethlehem?
Bryce Milligan's eloquently told story about Brigid is a moving tale of compassion and wonder. Beautifully illustrated by Helen Cann, Brigid's Cloak sparkles with the timelessness of legend and the transcending power of faith.
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Bryce Milligan is the author of five historical novels andshort story collections for young adults, including theaward winning With the Wind, Kevin Dolan (Corona).A poet, publisher, and teacher, Bryce Milligan lives in SanAntonio, Texas.From Publishers Weekly:
Told with the gripping delivery of a well-seasoned storyteller, this tale of a fifth-century Irish saint has the broad appeal of folklore while retaining the power to inspire religious awe. Milligan (With the Wind; Kevin Dolan) draws in readers immediately with his evocation of "a wild and windy night" when the slave daughter of a warrior prince is born. The infant receives a visit from a Druid: "I am one of the fathers of old Ireland. I greet little Brigid, who will be a mother to the new Ireland that is to come." The Druid gives Brigid a blue cloak and blesses her with magic. Ten years later, Brigid finds herself mystically transported to a stable in Bethlehem, where a man named Joseph introduces himself and his wife, Mary: "Brigid felt as one does when a candle is lit in a very dark room." She lends Mary her cloak, and blesses Mary and her child. Returning to her own world, Brigid longs for the family in the stable-but her cloak is now covered with tiny glowing stars. Cann (The Loving Arms of God) matches Milligan's deceptively easy mix of intimacy and awe with her clear, slightly stylized watercolors. Her Brigid is plain and sturdy, with cropped red hair and freckles, her holy family tired but inwardly directed. Borders along the bottom of the spreads incorporate Celtic motifs, echoed within the illustrations with such patterns as the Druid's flowing locks of white hair, the sheep's curling wool, the striping on the rams' horns. Readers don't have to share Brigid's faith to enjoy this story, but those who do may find that faith strengthened. Ages 4-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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