From School Library Journal
Grade 2-6–Part graphic novel, part picture book, and part Stephen Biesty-style cutaways, Lorenz's work breezes through the Trojan War, focusing on the culminating incident. The author omits grisly matters, leaving in the beauty contest of the goddesses, the rewarding of Helen to Paris, the long duration of the war, and the inspiration to create the great horse. The quarreling gods and goddesses are busts who talk in a modern style (yup, he just declared war!). The full-color illustrations feature ancient artistic motifs, large architectural structures teeming with small figures of humans and animals, cartoon panels of various sizes, and exaggerated facial expressions. Especially notable is a cutaway of the Trojan Horse, showing how soldiers got in and out, and what was included in the structure (notably, a bathroom). An author's note and a cartoon-style map provide further details, including the history of the city of Troy and dates and locations for the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. While the narrative is so abbreviated as to lose much of its more nuanced dramatic tension, the overall question of the story--who will win the war, and how?–is sufficient to keep young readers turning the pages. Not a notable achievement, but still an attractive and inviting title to help update aging mythology collections.–Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX
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As in Kevin O'Malley's Mount Olympus Basketball (2003), this picture book for older readers employs an irreverent comics format to retell Greek myths. The minimal text lacks the polish and drama of the art; the pictures really tell the story of the Trojan Horse, with word boxes fitted into the detailed spreads. Younger children may have trouble piecing together the events on their first viewing, and they'll likely flip frequently to the opening, illustrated list of key characters to help sort out the connections. Teeming with action and detail, the double-page scenes show multilevel cross-sections of a Greek war ship, the city of Troy, and, of course, the Trojan Horse, which includes views of soldiers working, spying, and even using the toilet inside the giant structure. Attractive endpapers show a map of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; suggest Lynn Curlee's Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (2002) to children who want to learn about these wondrous historical accomplishments. For the classroom as well as for browsing. Gillian Engberg
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