Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Review of "Wee Gillis," Munro Leaf

Review of
Wee Gillis, Munro Leaf

Five out of five stars
 Although there are eight words in his name, the main character of this story is a Scottish lad called Wee Gillis. His mother’s relatives are all Lowlander Scots, they live in the valleys and tend to their cows, while his father’s relatives are Highlanders that stalk stags. Both sides laugh at the other’s lifestyles, considering them foolish, so Wee Gillis cannot determine which lifestyle he wants to make his own.
 Therefore, he went to live with his relatives in the Lowlands for a year, where he learned to tend the cows and developed powerful lungs so that he could call the cows loud enough for them to hear through the heavy mists. The following year he went to the Highlands where he learned to stay stationary for extended periods of time in order to get close to the stags. When he once let out a sigh, the stag he was stalking ran away. Therefore, he had to learn to hold his breath for extended periods of time.
 At the end of the second year when it was time for Wee Gillis to make his decision, he could not. This led to a great deal of consternation among his uncles with a lot of stomping and shouting. Finally, Wee Gillis spotted his uncle Angus with his new bagpipes. Angus was despondent because he did not have enough breath strength to play his new instrument. After several trials by others, Wee Gillis with his powerful breathing apparatus was able to play the pipes and his role in society was determined.
 This book is a peek into the Scottish culture that is well suited for the young reader. The character is one that they can identify with in terms of being conflicted and they learn about the differences between the Lowland and Highland Scots.

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