Yokki and the Parno Gry (based on an original O’Neill family tale)

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Richard O’Neill and Katharine Quarmby

Storyteller Richard O’Neill brings his family history to life with this beautifully illustrated gem of a storybook begs to be read aloud.

A Romani folktale, it tells of a magical horse, Parno Gry, that swoops in and takes children on trips to faraway, welcoming lands. Yokki is a young boy who tells stories about Parno Gry, and he gets more inventive as reality gets harsher. When all seems lost—his Traveller family has traded away all of their possessions and cannot find work anywhere—Parno Gry actually arrives and whisks the entire family to a lush, verdant land with abundant resources.

Most important, storytime presenters will want to build in time to allow young audiences to pore over the wonderfully detailed illustrations.

The combined ink, gouache, watercolour, pen, and crayon pictures create a wistful, otherworldly feel that transports readers to an enchanted place. The text seamlessly weaves in Romani customs and philosophies, and the illustrations provide additional details about Traveller life. This unique and engaging tale will delight young audiences and would be an elegant addition to any folk literature collection.