Ossiri and the Bala Mengro
by Richard O'Neill & Katherine Quarmby
illustrated by Hannah Tolson
Ossiri is a Traveller girl, one of the Tattin Folki who toil day in and day out, recycling, renewing and selling on all manner of goods. When Ossiri discovers her inner musician, she decides to craft herself a special instrument out of scraps. Music to her own ears, her family aren't quite so convinced by her melodies...But then, when the family move on to Lancashire, Ossiri takes her music up on to the peaks where she is greeted enthusiastically by a great big yawning ogre, the Bala Mengro. Indeed this beastie seems to be able to turn her music into gold! The very talented Richard O'Neill, a Romani storyteller, gets this traditional Traveller tale in print and in doing so, not only offers a perfectly formed read aloud but also a casual insight into Travelling culture. "Has all the component of a stompingly good fairytale with its hairy ogre, its pint-sized hero and its journey towards good fortune. I'm a fan! (Now where can I find my own pair of very shiny leather boots!' (Fen, LL reviewer). Age 4-7, Paperback 28pp
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