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The Beautiful Stories of Life: Six Greeks Myths, Retold Hardcover – May 4, 2009


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Product Details

  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 71 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152061843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152061845
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–9—Rylant retells the stories of Pandora, Persephone, Orpheus, Pygmalion, Narcissus, and Psyche in this trim, handsome book. Written in a modern style with an old-fashioned feel, the selections sit well with other titles in the genre. The collection is fashioned to relate tales of love, pride, struggle, and triumph; Rylant has chosen a good complement of myths to retell, sticking to the standard versions of each one. Accompanied by full-page black-and-white illustrations and sprinkled with decorations, the whole package is nicely done. Readers who enjoy a good romance or just a well-told tale will be satisfied with this small book, and those looking for material for reports will find the necessary elements within. Collections needing fresh additions to their mythology section should consider this one.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Rylant’s clear explanations of relationships between gods and mortals as well as the underlying motivations and significance of each myth avoid condescension without sacrificing the details, richness and conventions of the original stories. Ellis’s formal black-and-white drawings are reminiscent of stylized classical Greek art and illustrate a dramatic moment from each myth. The small, square format completes this accessible and classy introduction to Greek mythology."--Kirkus Reviews

"Rylant offers simplified, accessible versions of the myths and curtails their more troubled meanings. Ellis’s soft pencil drawings bedeck this elegant-looking little book with visions of flowers, garlands, and comely maidens."--Horn Book

". . . hones six myths into clear, accessible stories for younger readers. Plainspoken and captivating, they draw readers into the sagas . . . The stories grab attention with intriguing introductions . . . Ellis, illustrator of the Mysterious Benedict Society books, employs delicate pencil drawings to render the characters amid the organic: flowers, fruit, leaves and twisting vines. The small format reflects the book's purpose: to be a pleasurable sampling of some well-known Greek myths, their ideas and morals distilled to their core."--Publishers Weekly

"The collection is fashioned to relate tales of love, pride, struggle, and triumph; Rylant has chosen a good complement of myths to retell, sticking to the standard versions of each one. Accompanied by full-page black-and-white illustrations and sprinkled with decorations, the whole package is nicely done. Readers who enjoy a good romance or just a well-told tale will be satisfied with this small book, and those looking for material for reports will find the necessary elements within. Collections needing fresh additions to their mythology section should consider this one."--School Library Journal

“There is fluidity in the telling . . . a useful contrast to more irreverent or raucous retellings, especially in a setting where the focus is on the message more than the cultural significance.”--The Bulletin






Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amey L. Park on June 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my children aged 6-11. What I like the most about Rylant's work is how she appeals to both adults and children. My children loved this book for its story-telling, and I loved it because it reframed these familiar stories. I recommend Rylant's books because they are entertaining to children and interesting to the adults who read them to children. Rylant has a wonderful ability to write something profound, then explain it through story, which is beautifully expressed in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patricia M. Peterman on June 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great little book for students in middle school to get a first glimpse of some Greek mythological creatures. It is an easy read with some colorful pictures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Bengelsdorf on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In the versions of Greek mythology read to me as a child, male gods and heroes were given more attention. Here, the author has given women equal time and focus, a welcome improvement. These are indeed beautiful stories. Kids will enjoy them, happily unaware they are learning about the foundations of literature.
I am reading it with my adult ESL students, some of whom are conversant with the stories in their first languages. Here and there the syntax is difficult, but the students are finding the stories entertaining and full of useful vocabulary.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a fan of Carson Ellis I knew I would love this book. Her artwork has a way of reaching your heart and coupled with the eloquent retellings of these classic myths but Cynthia Rylant I couldn't have asked for a better gift to give my niece on her first birthday.
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By David Clifford on February 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my daughter to read with her grandparents. Great stories. I enjoyed listening to them, as well. Brought me back to my 8th grade mythology class!
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More About the Author

Cynthia Rylant is the author of numerous distinguished novels and picture books for young readers. In addition to her beginning-reader series: Henry and Mudge, Poppleton, and Mr. Putter and Tabby, as well as her Cobble Street Cousins early-chapter series, she is also the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Missing May, the Newbery Honor Book A Fine White Dust, and two Caldecott Honor-winning picture books.

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