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Comment: Hardcover, with dust jacket, light wear on edges, corners and cover, pages are clean and bright
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The McElderry Book of Greek Myths (Margaret K. McElderry Book) Hardcover – February 5, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

These accessible retellings of Greek myths form the third entry in the McElderry Books Collection, which also includes volumes of Grimms’ fairy tales and Aesop’s fables. Kimmel uses spare, direct language and lots of exciting action in his short selections, and passages of dialogue among the characters add to the ancient stories’ sense of immediacy. On every page, Montserrat’s stylish computer-generated artwork picks up on ancient Greek design motifs and creates memorable characters from the mythical archetypes—from sword-wielding soldiers to Medusa and her writhing, poisonous snakes. The organization is thoughtful: the myth of Prometheus, who filled the world with living creatures and gave humans fire, is the first entry. And Kimmel begins the collection with solid answers to the question, “Why bother retelling these ancient stories?” One disappointment: there are no source notes. Give this to readers older than the target readership, especially those seeking a quick overview of myths referenced in recent novels, such as Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief (2005). Grades K-3. --Gillian Engberg

About the Author

Eric A. Kimmel is the author of many picture books, including Hershel
and the Hanukkah Goblins
, a Caldecott Honor Book illustrated by Trina Schart
Hyman. He was once a storyteller, and he loves classic tales. For more information
visit Eric's website at www.ericakimmel.com.

Pep Monserrat has illustrated picture book versions of such classics as The
Musicians of Bremen
and Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. He is delighted
to have this opportunity to portray the archetypal heroes and heroines of ancient
Greece. For more information visit Pep's website at www.pepmonserrat.com

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 5
  • Series: Margaret K. McElderry Book
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416915346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416915348
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.6 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric A. Kimmel is a native New Yorker who lives in Oregon. He was born in Brooklyn, NY where he learned to love books and traditional stories from an early age. He could hear five different languages without leaving his block. Eric taught teachers as a professor of Education at Indiana University at South Bend and Portland State University. His favorite classes were children's literature, language arts, storytelling, and handwriting. He left the university in 1993 to become a full-time writer, a dream he had had since kindergarten.

Eric's books have won numerous awards. He and his wife Doris have traveled all over the world, sharing his books and stories with school children in China, Africa, and Turkey.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've read many collections of Greek Myths to my children, but this one is the best by far. The illustrations are gorgeous, Eric Kimmel's narrative flows wonderfully(as usual), and it's just plain fun to read aloud. I checked this one out from our public library, but I will definitely be purchasing it. I know D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths is considered the gold standard of Greek Myth books, but the illustrations in that book just aren't exciting and colorful (I know it was published awhile ago, when full color art wasn't as common). I will probably buy that one when my children are older. Right now, my kids like to look over my shoulder at the pictures, and the McElderry Book of Greek Myths has beautiful, colorful pictures throughout, illustrations that really capture the spirit of these myths.
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Format: Hardcover
This is currently my 5-year old son's favorite book. Although I sympathize with the criticisms of the previous review regarding the "accuracy" of the storytelling in this book (anyone who has studied mythology knows that many versions of various myths have existed over the centuries), these stories and the accompanying illustrations are wonderful and will thoroughly captivate young readers. Certainly, it is not a definitive source for scholarship, but that isn't its intent. It is an introduction intended for young children. These stories are filled with a fair dose of brutality and cruelty (as they have always been), but some have been changed to shorten them and others to avoid some more difficult and disturbing topics -- for example, the "true" story of the Minotaur's origin is not told in order to avoid the subject of Pasiphae's amorous encounter with a white bull. Nevertheless, this collection of foundational stories will delight children and adults alike. Those with a continuing interest will surely find other, more mature versions of these myths as they grow older, but this book is a wonderful place to start.
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Format: Hardcover
How do your average everyday children's book illustrators go about proving themselves in this day and age? Well, I don't know what they teach these youngsters in design school. To my mind, there must be a couple standard tropes they all follow. Illustrators like to prove themselves by creating alphabet books and stories in the public domain. Nursery rhymes, Aesop fables, fairy tales, that sort of thing. Greek myths also happen to be in the public domain, but not that many artists have taken the time to illustrate them beautifully for children. There's the D'Aulaires version and that's really the only collection of myths to come to mind. I'm waxing poetic on the subject of artists and myths because I have recently had the pleasure to read "The McElderry Book of Greek Myths", as retold by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Pep Montserrat. In it we read about every myth from Echo to Persephone. From Icarus to the Minotaur. Kimmel retells each tale with his own particular style. It's a problematic retelling, but not without its perks.

I think I may have stared for the longest amount of time not at any one picture in this gorgeously illustrated book, but at the copyright page instead. According to the publication page, "The illustrations for this book are rendered electronically." Hmmm. Nope, I don't know what that means. How do you define "rendered"? If these pictures were truly created entirely on a computer then color me very much amazed. Truly illustrator/artist Pep Montserrat has outdone himself with some of these images. The endpapers call to mind the black and red figure painting techniques found on ancient Greek vases. You can almost see the brush strokes on some of these images. Many look as if they were painted on top of wood.
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Format: Hardcover
I suggest this book:
-For the artwork.
-Those wanting to provide a captivating introduction to the Greek Myths.
-Greek Myths aside, to those who are looking for a just fabulous story book to share with their kids! What I am saying is that this is such a piece of art in itself, that even those who aren't particularly looking for Greek Mythology, will still find much to love about this book.

I love reading to my children myths, of all sorts, and also differing versions of the same myths, for each one has something unique to offer, and together they offer a patchwork of humanity. This retelling is delightful, captivating, vivid, and expresses all the humanity and emotion that are the heart of these myths.

It is worth buying for the artwork alone... the type of illustrations that you just want to sit and look at over and over again! My 6 and 4 year old were captivated by them. The textures that are used to make up the images made my son and I look closer to try to figure out how the pictures were made.

This is the book for you if you want something that really brings the stories to life, and leaves you feeling like you shared a rich experience with your children... one that invites you to think, feel, and want to revel in the stories again. The stories are clear and understandable to the young, flow from one story to the next in a way that helps you recognize the relationship of the different characters in different stories to each other, and is just plain fun to read. My 6 year old didn't want me to stop, and had me read it to him cover to cover. The stories stayed with him and later while playing the spontaneous comment "I don't want to be greedy," emerged from his musings over the stories.
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