Sigrídur Tómasdóttir’s legendary efforts to save Gullfoss, known as ‘the queen of Iceland’s waterfalls’, from British industrialists inspired The Gullfoss Legends, a new children’s book by English author Edward H. Trayer, who writes under the pen name Billy Bob Buttons.
Gullfoss. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“In 2002 my wife and I visited Gullfoss and I thought, ‘WOW!’ Then the guide told me the tale of Sigrídur and I just knew I had to put pen to paper and tell the story,” Trayer said in a press release.
“I had a lot of help from Professor Helgi Skúli Kjartansson, Professor of History at the University of Iceland,” explained the author. “He helped me to accurately depict the island’s history and culture in the early 1900s.”
But the book is not just a re-telling of the famous story of Sigrídur Tómasdóttir. The author has entwined a host of Icelandic myths and proverbs with the modern day elements of a “thrilling” children’s adventure.
“In every chapter there is an Icelandic proverb and in the back of the book there is a Phonics Chart to help the reader to pronounce the Icelandic words,” Trayer says.
The author will be participating in a tour of 200 London schools this year and delivering literacy workshops to over 40,000 children. “This book will help me to illustrate myths and legends which form a very important part of the English syllabus.”
With 15 pen and ink drawings by award winning illustrator Teri Smyth, The Gullfoss Legends will be out this October and can be purchased on Amazon or direct from Gullfosskaffi in Iceland, the café by the waterfall.