From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Scholarship and an underlying intellectual passion shape this volume. Andrews deliberately limits her scope to a discussion of myths based on "nonliving phenomena, such as wind, clouds, meteors, and tides." The entries include "natural forces, gods and goddesses of natural forces, terms relating to the myths of natural forces, and broad geographical areas." Many articles run one or two columns with the geographic ones generally longer. All of the entries are enlivened by a clear understanding of the importance of these myths to primitive cultures. Because of the specificity of this ready-reference resource, the article on the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl, for instance, emphasizes his role as god of the sky rather than of wealth. Well-selected, black-and-white illustrations appear throughout. This volume includes a useful culture index, a lengthy subject index, and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources, as well as numerous cross-references. For cogent discussions of creation myths, aborigine dreamtime, or ancient calendars, send young people here.-Mary H. Cole, Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School, NY
Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Andrews, a librarian specializing in "astronomical mythology," has compiled an encyclopedia of nature myths, a broad topic to cover. She admits that most of her entries merely scratch the surface of existing scholarship, but this is, after all, an encyclopedia, and she has cross-referenced her entries and provided citations (though only at the end of each article) to an extensive bibliography. Her sources more than adequately cover the classics of the field but offer little research that is new or original. Innovative and useful indexes give intercultural, subject, and primary-source guides. Weaknesses include a dearth of pictures; the tone of the writing, which is a bit too conversational for an authoritative reference work; and entries (particularly those attempting to cover large areas such as North America, India, or Scandinavia) so general they tend to stereotype regional belief. Still, there are many entries here not easily found elsewhere, especially on minor deities and the myths of cultures not traditionally studied in depth (e.g., Agbe, a sea god of the Nigerian Dahomey; and Tupan, thunder god of the Brazilian Guarani). Recommended for larger public and academic libraries.?Katherine K. Koenig, Ellis Sch., Pittsburgh
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.