SET in China, ‘Na Clocha Síneacha’ (‘The Chinese Stones’) is a magical tale of a young girl travelling around her native country with her grandfather and the wonders they encounter but also the destruction caused to the environment.
The young Chinese protagonist, Nuaniu, is introduced to the wonders of nature through her grandfather’s vast years of knowledge as well as to the horrors of the destruction of the environment, whether it be the absence of fish in the rivers or the felling of forests.
Aimed at the ten- to 12-year-old reader, the book asks whether anything can be done to redress the damage. While the question may be a tad too deep for ten-year-olds, the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the grandfather will certainly make them aware of the importance of not taking the environment for granted.
‘Na Clocha Síneacha’ is written entirely through Irish by Karen Tazi, a teacher based in the Marymount International School in Paris, where she lives with her husband and daughter. The story is simply written and can be easily read irrespective of the reader’s level of Irish, and it is beautifully illustrated with water colours by the author.
‘Na Clocha Síneacha’, which comes with an audio CD, would make an ideal Christmas gift for any child interested in Irish or looking to improve.