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Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods and Heroes Pop-Up Hardcover – January 4, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–8—This handsome volume introduces beings powerful enough to "push the seasons forward, forge mighty civilizations, and shape the very earth." Six gloriously illustrated spreads, each graced by a dramatic paper-sculpture centerpiece and additional fold-out booklets, provide a glimpse at gods and heroes from around the world along with appetite-whetting tidbits of myths and legends. Represented are the deities of ancient Egypt, the Greek pantheon, mortal champions of the classical world, Norse gods and goddesses, Asian and Polynesian divinities, and the "Great Spirits of the New World." The artwork, set against pastel backdrops, combines traditional images with modern sensibilities to stunning effect. An airy pop-up of Olympus includes all 12 primary gods; a pull-tab flips miniature pages to reveal Herakles's 12 labors; a 3-D Thor swings his famed hammer down with a powerful thrust; hot-headed Pele emerges from a volcano base; Spider Woman weaves a celestial web out of silver cord; and more. The text covers a lot of ground but is well written and works hand-in-hand with the striking, innovative illustrations to encourage further exploration. Use this attention-grabbing overview to brew up reader interest and launch studies of ancient cultures and mythology.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The creators behind the popular Encyclopedia Prehistorica series of pop-up books offer this second volume in the Encyclopedia Mythologica (following Fairies and Magical Creatures, 2008). Ranging beyond the better-known canon of classical mythology, the book is evenly weighted to include Egyptian, Norse, Eastern, and New World legends. Each of the six main spreads is dominated by a large centerpiece, which is surrounded by three or four flaps that open to reveal smaller but often no-less-impressive pop-ups that dive into substrata of the spread’s main theme. Some of these pop-ups reveal even smaller flaps in a kind of nested-doll-like series of diminishing size. The page constructions are what you'd expect from the duo, which is to say intricately detailed and exquisitely designed but also sturdier than they look, though certainly prone to mangling when overhandled. The information, though well conveyed, is both necessarily truncated by the nature of the format and demanding of a higher reading level than most pop-up books. Still, definitely neat. Grades 2-5. --Ian Chipman

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Series: Encyclopedia Mythologica (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Nov Pop edition (January 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076363171X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763631710
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 2.7 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Matthew Christian Reinhart was born September 21, 1971 to Gary and Judith Reinhart in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The son of a farmer, his father Gary joined the Navy to become jet fighter pilot, and so the family moved around the country, from Florida to Texas to Illinois to California to Virginia and then South Carolina. Gary wanted to be more than a pilot (which was pretty amazing itself) so he went on to Dental School and studied to be an oral surgeon. Judith and Matthew followed along, and soon to be joined by his mischievous little sister, Erin. Often times, Gary's training took him to places they couldn't follow (even on aircraft carriers), so Judy took charge. Matthew's childhood was filled with good times and very happy memories overall, thanks to his family.
Art was always a tremendously huge part of Matthew's young life. Drawing pictures and making crafts were his favorite activities, in school and out. Matthew drew whenever and wherever he got the chance. His school notebooks often had more drawings than notes! He loved drawing and reading about all creatures and animals so much, he drew them everywhere! Dinosaurs, like about every kid on the planet, were his absolute favorite to draw and Matthew could rattle off the name of every single one before learning to add or subtract. As he got older, Matthew was captivated by the movie STAR WARS. The richness of the universe George Lucas created on the screen fueled his young imagination, inspiring countless sketchbooks filled with monsters, spaceships, and action heroes.
Like most high school graduates, Matthew wasn't completely focused on a career. He was unaware he could make a living being an artist. Like most doctors' children, his father convinced him to study biology to prepare for medical school. College life at Clemson University was busy and fun for Matthew, but he was never really satisfied. Medicine was not his true calling. Along with his required biology courses, Matthew snuck in a few art classes, and built up a bit of a portfolio. After graduating Cum Laude from Clemson, he took a year off before medical school and moved to New York, where he met Robert Sabuda and they began doing volunteer work together. Robert's book, Christmas Alphabet had just released to rave reviews, and persuaded Matthew follow his calling by attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. With his parents' blessing and support, Matthew enrolled as an industrial design (with a concentration in toy design) student the following year. Pratt was fantastic, eye opening experience for him, though his initial dreams of being a toy designer soon transformed into paper engineer- with the help of Mr. Sabuda. After working with Robert on books like "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", "A B C Disney" and "Movable Mother Goose". Matthew made his first big break into the pop-up world with "The Pop Up Book Of Phobias". Other books followed, including both collaborations with Robert Sabuda, including their trilogy of "Encyclopedia Prehistorica" books and renowned illustrator Maurice Sendak on the New York Times best-selling "Mommy?", and also even solo pop-up projects like "The Ark", "Animal Popposites", "The Jungle Book", "Cinderella" and his dream-of-all-dream projects, "STAR WARS: Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy", "The Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes". His latest series, "Encyclopedia Mythologica", includes "Fairies & Magical Creatures" and the newly-released "Gods & Heroes". In honor of the 75th Anniversary of DC COMICS, Matthew has created a massive pop-up celebration titled "DC COMICS Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book", to be released in Fall 2010. He continues to work and live in New York City, cutting, taping and folding paper into intricate, moving sculptures.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The myths of the ancient world hold much fascination for readers of all ages. Children especially seem drawn to tales of the Olympian deities, Viking legends and Mediterranean heroes. Couple this interest with the fantastic engineered paper books by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda, and you have a book kids can truly experience. In Encyclopedia Mythologica's GODS AND HEROES, the bestselling duo teams up again for a three-dimensional exploration of the tales of the ancient world.

The book starts in Egypt, and opening to the first page releases a large pop-up of the falcon-headed god Horus, son of Isis and Osiris and the god associated with the ancient pharaohs. A smaller page on this double-page spread tells Horus's story with several moving parts (look behind that for Imhotep's pyramid). Next it's off to Greece, where the castle of Mt. Olympus springs forth as does the legendary city of Atlantis and the figures of several Greek goddesses. The section on the "Kingdoms of the Mighty North" features a fierce Viking and a glimpse of Freyja as she leads her Valkyries into battle and a lovely pop-up illustration of the mythical cosmic ash tree called Yggdrasil.

Unlike so many children's books introducing mythology, GODS AND HEROES doesn't stop at Europe and Egypt but takes readers farther east to Asia and Oceania and to the Americas as well. Spider Woman, from Native American mythology, holds a web made of silvery thread, adding an interesting new textural element to the book. Refreshingly, Reinhart and Sabuda also give female deities and figures equal attention, like the violent Polynesian volcano goddess Pele, who seems to be spewing and flowing out of the volcano in the center of the page.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Sara M. Fischer on January 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have collected pop-up books for over 30 years. This is the best one yet! It is a combination of imaginative and mind boggling artwork. The illustrations combined with information works to a great degree for all ages. I highly recommend this as a great gift for anyone for yourself or a loved one.
Sara F.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jamahv on January 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WOW! Matthew Reinhart has done it again! He, along with partner Robert Sabuda have, in the past, set the standard for paper engineering and artwork in their amazing repertoire of pop-up books, and this time they may well have surpassed themselves. Each spread is a lavish display of technological creativity, while at the same time imparting facts and intriguing information with the text. The little side pages which one expects to see from these artists/authors is, in this case, each a little gem unto itself. This is an amazing book. It would spoil the fun for me to describe what you will find in between its covers. Instead, I encourage you to purchase this treasure and get the enjoyment of an amazing experience for yourself. I wish I could give it twenty stars. Bravo, Matthew Reinhart! See other favorites here: Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the GalaxyCinderella: A Pop-Up Fairy Tale The Jungle Book: A Pop-Up Adventure (Classic Collectible Pop-Ups)A Pop-up Book of Nursery Rhymes (Limited Edition): A Classic Collectible Pop-Up
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is amazing! So much to see! Several different "pops" on every page. And just enough reading to give a good bit of background on the heroes and gods. Worth every single penny!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By jazz on December 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I bought this for Christmas for my 5 year old daughter who loves books and is very gentle with them. She is in love with it and I am loving looking at it with her. I have to say that this is the best pop up book I've ever seen. It's a true piece of art! I also enjoy the information about the gods and heroes. It's informative but is still able to hold my daughter's attention. If I'm totally honest, I bought this more for myself than for my daughter. :D
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dakota snowflake on February 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We gave this book to our 12-year-old grandson for Christmas. Much to our surprise and dismay when he first began looking at it, we discovered that he already knew quite a bit about the mythological gods and heroes, so our immediate thought was that he would be bored with it. But that was not the case; he was THRILLED with it! We give this book of incredible paper engineering an A++.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By April Musgrove on February 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutly love all the Sabuda and Reinhart pop-ups. Gods & Heroes is no exception- amazing detail, fun way to learn mythology. Many different cultures' mythology is included- Egyptian, Norse, Greek, Asian, South American & Native American. Would make a wonderful gift as well. A wonderful addition to my pop-up collection!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Su on December 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
All pop-ups are truly amazing. Covers many different civilizations. Contains extra mini-pops. Sometimes the pages need "teased" into popping up correctly, as with most intricate pop-up books. I strongly suggest thoroughly inspecting any pop-up book before giving, as they sometimes need "teasing" (unstuck from where they should not be stuck) or re-glued (double-side tape works well too). This one arrived in great shape with only minor adjustments needed.
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