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Prize, The (Stories of Welsh Life)

Manylion a Disgrifiad y Llyfr | Book Details & Description

  • Publication Date 2006
  • Author: Siân Lewis
  • Illustrated by Robin Lawrie 
  • Suitable for age 9-11 or Key Stage 2 
  • Format: Hardback, 207x140 mm, 29 pages
 
A story and picture book aimed at children aged 9-11 years old. The series deals with many periods in Welsh history, and bases a story on a particular field. This volume is based on the coal pits in the South Wales valleys.

Gwales Review

With the Stories of Welsh Life Series, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch has taken a fresh approach to Welsh history tales for children aged between 8 and 12. Having self-explanatory titles and being written from the point of view of the young main character, the reader is immediately engaged in key events and their effect on ordinary people of the time. Narratives by accomplished author Siân Lewis are presented in neat, well-bound books with text alternating with colour plates which set the context and provide a wealth of visual detail to explore. Teachers will welcome an addition to Curriculum Cymreig resources; youngsters in Wales will welcome attractive and readable books which enable them to travel through time and appreciate what it was like to witness and be part of historical happenings whilst youngsters everywhere will empathize with the hero or heroine and enjoy the excitement and tension.

It is August 26th 1892 and twelve year old Levi has been working at Parc Slip colliery for all of three weeks. Despite the fact that his father has changed shift and urges him to join the rest of the family at the annual St Mary Hill fair, he prefers to prove his manhood by going to work with Will Jenkins.

Tom is a year younger and has no sympathy with him: he knows Levi is a coward who is going down the pit out of spite, so that he will avoid the humiliation of being beaten at knocking a coconut off the coconut shy. Tom has been practicing his aim for ages and had been looking forward to getting the better of him by winning the prize.

The pictures and text work well together here. Siân Lewis brings events to life using lively dialogue with authentic touches of dialect. The portrayal of family life is touchingly credible without sentimentality. The reader is immersed in all the fun of the fairground through Tom’s experience of it: later in the book the horror of the mining disaster and its aftermath are equally vivid. Robin Lawrie’s illustrations are atmospheric in their use of light. Early morning industrial Aberkynfig is depicted, as well as the colourful energy of the daytime fairground; presented in contrast is a sombre and claustrophobic pit scene.