Friday, 24 June 2011

Book review: Bedd y Dyn Gwyn by Bob Eynon

In Bedd y Dyn Gwyn [White Man's Grave], the multifaceted Bob Eynon takes Welsh learners straight into the gung ho world of  the classic comic, The Boy's Own Paper.

It is February 1895 and young Welshman Cris Hopkin is newly arrived in Lagos. His mission is to penetrate deep into the jungle to map the course of the River Yorba. Tough, hard-drinking John Carter agrees to be his guide.

Hopkin meets pretty, young Wendy Benson, whose father disappeared while exploring the same region. She begs to come on the trip, hoping to find out something about her father. Surprisingly and very out of character, Carter not only does not object, but positively encourages her.

The story unfolds with all the components of a classic adventure tale fitted into just under 50 pages: man-eating crocodiles, warring tribes, treachery, treasure and Lise, the mysterious and beautiful young witch doctor.

After many trials and tribulations, the good get their just rewards, the wicked their come-uppance and all is as it should be.

Although this is not the sort of tale I would normally read, I did find it a lot of fun. The language was relatively easy to understand, with a helpful vocabulary at the back of the book. The story line made a welcome change from the tedious over-emphasis on mundane life in the official course book that I have to follow for my class.

Buy Bedd Y Dyn Gwyn from The Book Depository and get postage-free delivery worldwide.

Book review: Pwy Sy'n Cofio Sion by Mair Evans

Pwy Sy'n Cofio Sion [Who Remembers Sion] by Mair Evans is written specifically for learners of Welsh. Leni is a young and ambitious girl who is seeking to make a name for herself in broadcasting. Working in a small, backwater radio station, she is asked to look into the mystery of Sion Tremthanmor, a rock-folk musician who vanished many years ago. Leni sees this as her first chance to move towards fame. Although asked to do only library research, she goes out into the world in a hunt for the truth.

The book is approximately 80 pages long. The story is well told and truly gripping in places. I found the language fairly challenging for my current level (Sylfaen 1). Someone doing the Canolradd course would find it far easier going. In addition, the vocabulary given at the bottom of each page was somewhat sparse for my needs. Overall, however, it was a most enjoyable read.

Pwy Sy'n Cofio Sion is available to buy with free delivery worldwide.