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The McElderry Book of Greek Myths (Margaret K. McElderry Book) Hardcover – February 5, 2008


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Frequently Bought Together

The McElderry Book of Greek Myths (Margaret K. McElderry Book) + The McElderry Book of Aesop's Fables + The McElderry Book of Grimms' Fairy Tales
Price for all three: $51.71

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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: 10.7 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

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

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I checked this one out from our public library, but I will definitely be purchasing it.
A. K. McAllister
That is just what the author and illustrator have done... their rich craftmanship shows they have made these stories, which 'belong to all of us', their own.
Dragonflies & Autumn Leaves
Nevertheless, this collection of foundational stories will delight children and adults alike.
Matthew Thayer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. K. McAllister on April 29, 2008
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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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 4, 2008
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Thayer on April 13, 2008
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Bardsley on May 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the first Greek myths books I bought. The illustrations are beautiful, and it's not too scary. We started reading this to my son at around three and a half. By that point, I was so sick of reading kiddie books that I wanted something interesting!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As some other reviewers have noted, the stories in this book of Greek myths are written more for children than for adults, in that the stories do not contain all of the background stories of some of these myths. An example is the story of "Theseus and the Minotaur" - the origin of this creature (possessing a man's body and a bull's head) is not delved into, and I am thankful for that because it does pose problems of explaining it to my 5-year-old daughter (considering the Minotaur was the offspring of Minos' wife and the Cretan bull!). I appreciated how the author, Eric Kimmel simplified the prose to make it easier for young children to follow the stories. My daughter and I both loved the illustrations - there is a modern feel to them and a fun take of these classic myths. The artist, Pep Montserrat brings these myths to life in a compelling yet subtle manner, For example, Medusa is not portrayed in all its horrifying glory - only the back of the creature's head is shown, which I felt was apt considering the target audience of this book (I certainly did not wish my preschooler to get nightmares).

The stories featured here are:
Prometheus
Pandora's Box
Persephone and Hades
Echo and Narcissus
Arachne
Pygmalion and Galatea
King Midas and The Golden Touch
Orpheus and Eurydice
Jason and the golden fleece
Daedalus and Icarus
Theseus and the Minotaur
Perseus and Medusa

For those looking for a more unabridged version of the Greek myths, I'd recommend D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths and
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