Review sponsored* by Heidi Herman
The Children’s Book Review | December 13, 2016
The Guardians of Iceland and Other Icelandic Folk Tales
Written by Heidi Herman
Illustrated by Michael Di Gesu
Age Range: Teen and up
Paperback: 132 pages
Publisher: Hekla Publishing LLC
What to expect: Folk Tales, A Collection of Stories, Icelandic culture
The Guardians of Iceland and Other Icelandic Folk Tales is a collection of 27 unique stories immersing the reader into early Icelandic culture. While each story stands alone, they vary in length from very short tales to longer ones, with established characters and more intricate events.
Iceland as the backdrop to all the folk tales, with Heidi Herman describing vivid landscapes and scenes that deftly transport readers to the time and place of each story. Readers will feel the cold, harsh winters and see the rugged Icelandic mountains as they enjoy stories of trolls, mermen, and Hidden People.
As a historical collection, the book is able to present different types of tales – some with fable-like messages at the end and some that are simply amusing stories passed down through the generations. Some of the legends end by informing the reader about a location or event:
“On that day, the canyon was renamed for her, and has been known ever since as Trollwife’s Canyon.”
And others present an outcome that has gone on to inform modern Icelandic culture:
“To this day, any time an Icelander meets a stranger, they make sure to always be polite and courteous, sharing food and lodging freely, especially if the stranger is unusually beautiful. You can never be sure if it’s one of the Huldufolk.”
Herman also ensures Icelandic terminology is used and includes phonetic spelling for many of these words, enabling readers to find it seamless to move through unfamiliar language and spellings. To supplement this, Herman also provides a brief Icelandic Pronunciation Guide in the back that serves as a reference.
For teens and older readers, this book is a charming representation of Icelandic culture. It provides a glimpse into the fairy tales that inform many traditions and modern folklore in Iceland. It can be read from front to back, or picked up at any point in the middle to uncover a new magical legend from the early days of Iceland.
About Heidi Herman
Heidi Herman is a native of Illinois, proud of her Scandinavian heritage and close ties to Iceland. Her mother is a native of Iceland, who met and married a US serviceman who was stationed there in WWII. Heidi grew up with stories of brave fishermen, mischievous trolls and adventurous Vikings. Heidi was inspired by her mother’s memoirs, moving from a career in telecommunications to once again being immersed in the childhood fascination of legend, lore and imaginative stories.
She has written three children’s books on Icelandic myths and legends, along with a cookbook of Icelandic dishes co-authored with her mother.
Her first book was the Legend of the Icelandic Yule Lads, one of the best-known Icelandic folk tales. Heidi spends her time researching Icelandic folklore and mythology, writing, and speaking at events to share her Icelandic heritage and love of the country. She lives in Illinois with her Mom and her two Schnoodles, Dusty and Thor. For more information, visit: www.heidihermanauthor.com
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. Heidi Herman, the author of “The Guardians of Iceland and Other Icelandic Folk Tales,” sponsored* this non-biased review. Learn more about getting a book review …