The Giant's Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern Ireland, which ranks it alongside the Redwood forest in California and Mt. Everest. Rod and I had the privilege to visit this magical place this summer during our travels around the British Isles. If you've never heard of it, you're not alone. I had only heard of it indirectly through the telling of an old Irish folktale about a couple of giants.
The tale goes something like this. A couple of giants used to goad each other from opposite sides of a a shore. One was in Ireland and the other in Scotland. Because of the water, they could not reach each other, but one day the giant on the other side became so angry that he quickly built a cobbled pathway across the water. The giant on this side, named Finn McCool, became worried and ran to his wife to tell her the other giant was coming and he was much larger. What should he do? The wife pointed to the cradle in the corner of their house and told him to hide there. Meanwhile she began preparing biscuits. When the giant from the other shore arrived he demanded to know where her husband was because he was going to settle this once and for all. The wife invited in the other giant explaining that her husband would soon return. She showed him that only their baby was in the house. The giant was worried. If the giant's baby was this large, then imagine how big his father must be! He started to leave, but the wife offered him biscuits to eat while he waited. Instead of giving him the regular biscuits she offered him biscuits she had baked with rocks inside. When the giant bit into the biscuit he broke his teeth. But the baby seemed to have no trouble at all eating the biscuits. He thought if the baby is having no trouble eating the biscuits, then his father must be even more tough. And now he was very worried. The wife said that she could see her husband now returning and would only be a moment longer, so the giant took his opportunity to escape while he could. He ran all the way back across the water and tore up the pathway behind him. And that is why the coast looks the way it does today. And the rest of the story is that, on the other side of the water, it looks the same way.
This is that place where Finn McCool, the giant lived. Natural basalt columns due to volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. It was one of our favorite stops in the British Isles.
There are many children's picture books about Finn McCool, but this one by Tomie De Paula is of my favorites.
I am a writer of Children's and Young Adult books. I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and am an active member of SCBWI. I also have my MLS in Library Science with an emphasis on children and happily worked as a Children's Librarian for nearly 20 years. One of my favorite activities was reading books aloud to kids, especially to school-aged kids. Like the kids, I enjoy having stories read to me, so I listen to many of my books on audio and serve on audio judging committees.
Another favorite activity is creating fun snacks for library programs, friends, and family. I do that a lot and continually search for more ideas.
I have a very large Russian Blue mix cat named Bosley from the shelter, and a rescue dog named Prince Albert. He's a Cavapoo, which means he's part Cavalier King Charles and part poodle, and adorable. I am married and live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband Rod.
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