MYSTICAL JOURNEY: To The Island by Patricia Forde
The island of Hy-Brasil has long haunted Irish legend. As the stories go, this magical island appears off the west coast of Ireland just once every seven years...and for one night only. Over time, many have ventured out to find the island. Some explorers of old have even charted its' location on maps and in their explorers journal. But are these just the dreams of old sailors? Is Hy-Brasil merely the subject of old poems and songs? We may soon find out. For the next scheduled appearance of Hy-Brasil is this year; 2020! And to celebrate, here is one little girls' story...
TO THE ISLAND
author: Patricia Forde
illustrator: Nicola Bernardelli
Little Island Books (10 September 2020)
Fia longs to go to the magical island of Hy-Brasil, where the air is thick with secrets and mystical beings. Her dreams are filled with this longing as she gazes out the window of her Galway home. Then one night, a mist appears, swirling around her and whispering "Come away, come away." Fia is pulled by the magic and by the longing in her own heart and she rides a moonbeam across the bay, arriving in Hy-Brasil as it rises out of the waves. She glides on a gilded butterfly, dances with a boy with eyes like puddles and swirls deep to the sea bed. As she emerges into the dawns' light, one last glance over her shoulder reveals Hy-Brasil as it sinks slowly back into the waves it came from. And Fia is home again....safe and quietly sleeping in her own bed.
With lyrical writing, Patricia Forde has created a journey that is filled with magic, imagination and swirling, textural imagery that is echoed to perfection in the beautiful illustrations by Nicola Bernardelli. Both story and pictures create a landscape that is the stuff of dreams, painting a new fairytale from old legend. The gentle, lulling rhythm holds us captive as we ride the moonbeam along with Fia, meeting the residents of Hy-Brasil as if they are old friends. Evocative, magical, soothing and full of quiet, glorious wonder.
TO THE ISLAND is a work commissioned as part of the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture programme. It is simultaneously published in the Irish language as AN T-OILEÁN THIAR, capturing the true feel of the Irish legend of Hy-Brasil and a real sense of Irish culture. In these pages, you find familiar scenes of Galway City, along with mystical depictions of Hy-Brasil that will inspire your dreams and curiosity. Each child starting primary school in Galway this September will receive a free copy of the book. While the events of 2020 have put quite a damper on the mass celebrations of Galway 2020, this book will create an impact to be felt for a long, long time.
Sweet dreams and glorious journeys, everyone.