Updated: Feb 11, 2022
*For Welsh version, use language toggle switch on top of page*
Interest age: 5+
Reading age: 6+
Publisher suggested age: 7-12
Synopsis: Gwil Garw is a warrior from Wales' distant mythical past, whose job is to keep the peace at the Zoo of Legendary Creatures. Unfortunately, he's a wild hothead with zero respect for any man (or monster), and no interest whatsoever in keeping the peace. Celtic warriors, myths, and monsters combine in an epic and hilarious bronze age adventure.
Kick first. Ask questions later. See, that's the trouble with Gwil Garw! But despite his hot-headedness that often lands him in a whole heap of trouble, you can't help but root for him!
Gwil Garw a’r Carchar Crisial
You might remember seeing him first in the popular Mellten magazine, but now, Gwil Garw’s got his own 'book' that brings all the adventures together!
This is a graphic novel (a kind of cross between a fiction book and a comic). What do you get when you put these two together? An explosion of colour, excitement and adventure full of “FSSHHWMS,” “SBLWSHYS,” “CROMPS” and “DWMFFS!”
Gwil is a brave, if not slightly bonkers, monster hunter from the Celtic times who is sent on frequent adventures by his boss, Hemi ap Heilyn, owner of the Bwystfilariwm! (a zoo for monsters, in case you were wondering!) Gwil has several run-ins and near-misses with dangerous creatures, but he takes it all in his stride! On one of his adventures in the dwarf kingdom he comes across a very special and dangerous crystal indeed. Someone has put a very powerful spell on this, to make sure that whatever’s inside, stays inside! I just hope Gwil gets the message before it's too late!
The book itself, including it’s cover and pages, is clearly of very good quality. An odd thing to say maybe, but it feels very satisfying to hold it, let alone read it! This will be getting pride of place on the ‘keepers’ bookshelf at Sôn am Lyfra HQ!
Yeey! We have a graphic novel in Welsh!
I’ll just say one thing- comics are awesome! Did you know that even adults like to read them too? After fiction novels and non-fiction books, magazines are the most popular choice for reading. So, let there be no doubt that reading comics DOES count as 'real' reading. End of.
Graphic novels are like a hybrid of a book and comic, and there’s quite a lot of reading actually. The good thing is though, that it’s cut up into bitesize chunks. In fact, it's a very different - but interesting - reading experience. If you don't usually read in Welsh, or aren’t that keen on full-on novels, why not try a graphic novel instead? I’ll also just quickly mention that the other two books in the series are also worth reading! #moreplease
I’ll be completely honest, I just couldn’t stand reading novels when I was younger, but I’d have absolutely GOBBLED this up!!! (oh how things have changed – I can’t get enough of reading now!)
More children reading since lockdown
It was interesting to read a report recently by the National Literacy Trust, Children and young people's reading engagement in 2021. [here] According to this, more children enjoy reading now than before lockdown (an increase of 17%). This might be because they’ve had more spare time at home to read 'for pleasure.' Whilst this is good news, it could just be a short-term effect and we mustn’t rest on our laurels in our efforts to get more children reading (especially boys!) That's why I'm very happy to see more choice becoming available for readers aged 7-12...