Over the last 50 years, Y Lolfa has published hundreds of books in Welsh and English. Many have won prizes and some have become firm favourites in Welsh culture. Here’s a round up of some of the titles that stand out.
The most popular series
Y LLEWOD – DAFYDD PARRI
A series created in the 1970s by Dafydd Parri for children aged between 7 and 12 which follows the adventures of five children.The covers of the original books were designed by Elwyn Ioan. There are 23 books in the series, five of which were re-published in the 1990s (Y Llewod a’r Dagr Haearn; Y Llewod a’r Tair Canhwyllbren; Y Llewod yn Dal Ysbryd; Y Llewod a’r Steddfod; Y Llewod a’r Llyffantod Melyn).
The series proved to be extremely popular with thousands of children enjoying reading the Welsh adventure stories.
The most popular novel
SI HEI LWLI – ANGHARAD TOMOS
The novel won the Prose Medal at the National Eisteddfod in 1991 receiveing high praise from the judges. The story centres around Eleni, a young woman, her great-aunt Bigw, and their last car journey together before Bigw dies of old age. The main theme of the novel is old age and death but the themes are discussed in a fresh way by author Angharad Tomos. The perspective changes back and forth from the first person to the third person and changes between the present, the distant past and recent past.
Angharad Tomos is a popular author in Wales and a Welsh language activist.
The most popular book for children
RALA RWDINS – ANGHARAD TOMOS
The first book in the Gwlad y Rwla (Land of Rwla) series where we meet Rala Rwdins for the first time! The book was published in 1985 and remains very popular to this day. There are 16 books in the series including stories about Rala Rwdins, Rwdlan, Ceridwen, Dewin Dwl, Dewin Doeth, Strempan, Llipryn Llwyd and Mursen the cat! The books are available to buy individually and in a special gift box.
The most popular book ever published by Y Lolfa
WELSH IS FUN! – HEINI GRUFFUDD AC ELWYN IOAN
The book was first published in 1971 and has reached 24 re-prints! 17 lessons are introduced with exercises, grammar and a comprehensive vocabulary. Elwyn Ioan’s cartoons and Heini Gruffudd’s information create an easy to follow course which is full of humour. This book as been very popular and successful amongst Welsh learners!
Heini Gruffudd has written a number of books for learners and works at Swansea University. Elwyn Ioan is a cartoonist, artist and author.
The most profitable book
LLYFR Y GANRIF – GWYN JENKINS (ed.)
The year was 1999 and the Millennium was approaching. To celebrate the new century, Y Lolfa published Llyfr y Ganrif (Book of the Century). A comprehensive book which records a year by year history of the century in Wales in a journalistic way. The book was published with the National Library of Wales – and there are over 700 photos included in the book. The response to the book was brilliant and thousands of copies were sold.
Most popular English biography
HALF TIME – NIGEL OWENS
Nigel Owens has grown to become one of the biggest rugby stars in the world and is easily one of the best referees in the world. His biography tells his story – from trying to come to terms with who he was, coming out as gay – the first person to do so in professional rugby – and how his life and career improved after accepting the truth. Nigel gives an honest account of his personal life as well as his public life as a referee and entertainer. The book is full of his humour and warmth which has helped him become one of the most popular characters on stage and in the rugby fields throughout Wales and beyond.
Most popular cookery book
A BOOK OF WELSH BAKE-STONE COOKERY – BOBBY FREEMAN
Bobby Freeman researched the history and cooking traditions of Wales. She collected many recipes over her lifetime and many have been published in this series of 6 booklets. This series has been popular with those trying to recreate a slice of their childhood as well as those keen on trying something new for decades. The Book of Welsh Bakestone Cookery includes an introduction to the history of the recipes and 15 recipes, such as Teisennau ar y Maen (Bakestone Turnovers), Bara Pyglyd (Pikelets) and Bara Planc (Bakestone Bread).