King Under the Mountain: St. George of England

As an undergraduate, we’d read Edmund Spencer’s The Faerie Queene. The professor explained how the Red Cross Knight represented St. George, the patron saint of England, and his defeat of the dragon represented the triumph of British Protestantism over the presumed errors of ‘superstitious’ Catholicism. Twenty years later I found myself in an Orthodox church … More King Under the Mountain: St. George of England

Three Ways To Trap A Leprechaun {Book Review}

A boisterous red-haired older sister attempts to trap a leprechaun to prove to her skeptical little brother that leprechauns are real. She exuberantly creates Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions to pursue the leprechaun. Characters’ expressions are expertly illustrated. Delightful vocabulary and occasional internal rhyme. Some Fenians might object to the overuse of the four-leafed clover rather than … More Three Ways To Trap A Leprechaun {Book Review}

Very Strange Expressions of Christianity

They don’t look very Christian—those strange faces made of leaves, and those women displaying cartoonishly enlarged genitals on the walls of medieval churches. In his article for First Things, British folklorist and historian Francis Young makes a compelling argument that the odd, seemingly pagan expressions of Christianity that are found throughout Europe have more to do … More Very Strange Expressions of Christianity

Intuition Found

We’ve all heard stories of near misses: someone reschedules a flight on a hunch or whim and avoids a disaster.  We’ve heard stories of ignored intuition: Abraham Lincoln reportedly didn’t want to attend Ford’s Theatre on the night of his assassination. Other tales are rare or nonexistent: what if you listen to your intuition and … More Intuition Found

Outside Over There; OR Goblin Weddings, Changelings, and the Otherworld

I’d shelved the book numerous times as a Children’s Librarian. But it took Victor LaValle’s creepy New York modern fairy tale, The Changeling, to get me to open its pages and actually read it.  (It looks vaguely familiar; perhaps I had opened it when scouring the shelves for a book to read aloud for storytime … More Outside Over There; OR Goblin Weddings, Changelings, and the Otherworld