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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths - Ingri and Edgar d'Aulaire

D'aulaire's Book of Greek Mythology by Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire is a treasure.

The illustrations in this book are just delightful. The illustrations were originally done by a process called lithography, which works on the principle of grease and water repelling each other. The overall style is sketchy with attentive details and gorgeous color schemes. Many of these are full page illustrations, that include family trees and exciting scenes from the stories.

The retellings are faithful to their originals while leaving out details that many do not find appropriate for children. A good example of this is that it does talk about Zeus having children with many women aside from his wife; however, it does not talk about how he came upon them in the form of a swan or a bull.

The continuity of the narrative is carried out in an easy to follow format. It starts with the telling of the creation of the world, Gaia, and her brood: the Titans. It goes on to talk about Zeus and many wives, which bridges the gap for the next portion which talks about Hera. Each story makes a segue way into the next by introducing the next character by how he or she relates to the previous one. The tales of Prometheus and Pandora make an appearance, among many other popular tales. Heroes like Heracles and Jason of the Argonauts are presented. Even the tragic tale of Oedipus is included, as well.

Many of the gods and goddesses in the Greco-Roman mythos are often presented in a malevolent manner, but that is not the case in this book. The anger of Artemis for being caught unawares while bathing and the jealousy of Hera of Zeus's antics is presented in a matter-of-fact way.

I'd recommend this for anybody who is interested in Greco-Roman mythology.

Other books by these authors:
D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths
D'Aulaires' Book of Trolls

Recommended books on Greco-Roman Mythos:
A Child's Introduction to Greek Mythology: The Stories of the Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, Monsters, and Other Mythical Creatures by Heather Alexander
Mythology - Edith Hamilton

Recommended viewing:
Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Greek Myths
Clash of the Titans 1988 version
Jason and the Argonauts

1 comment:

  1. Any book that includes the tragic and twisted tale of Oedipus can't be bad.

    It sounds like the book covers a rather large swath of the Greco-Roman mythology and focuses on the most important things. It also sounds like it flows well, which is also important.