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Encyclopedia Mythologica: Gods and Heroes Pop-Up Hardcover – January 4, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–8—This handsome volume introduces beings powerful enough to "push the seasons forward, forge mighty civilizations, and shape the very earth." Six gloriously illustrated spreads, each graced by a dramatic paper-sculpture centerpiece and additional fold-out booklets, provide a glimpse at gods and heroes from around the world along with appetite-whetting tidbits of myths and legends. Represented are the deities of ancient Egypt, the Greek pantheon, mortal champions of the classical world, Norse gods and goddesses, Asian and Polynesian divinities, and the "Great Spirits of the New World." The artwork, set against pastel backdrops, combines traditional images with modern sensibilities to stunning effect. An airy pop-up of Olympus includes all 12 primary gods; a pull-tab flips miniature pages to reveal Herakles's 12 labors; a 3-D Thor swings his famed hammer down with a powerful thrust; hot-headed Pele emerges from a volcano base; Spider Woman weaves a celestial web out of silver cord; and more. The text covers a lot of ground but is well written and works hand-in-hand with the striking, innovative illustrations to encourage further exploration. Use this attention-grabbing overview to brew up reader interest and launch studies of ancient cultures and mythology.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The creators behind the popular Encyclopedia Prehistorica series of pop-up books offer this second volume in the Encyclopedia Mythologica (following Fairies and Magical Creatures, 2008). Ranging beyond the better-known canon of classical mythology, the book is evenly weighted to include Egyptian, Norse, Eastern, and New World legends. Each of the six main spreads is dominated by a large centerpiece, which is surrounded by three or four flaps that open to reveal smaller but often no-less-impressive pop-ups that dive into substrata of the spread’s main theme. Some of these pop-ups reveal even smaller flaps in a kind of nested-doll-like series of diminishing size. The page constructions are what you'd expect from the duo, which is to say intricately detailed and exquisitely designed but also sturdier than they look, though certainly prone to mangling when overhandled. The information, though well conveyed, is both necessarily truncated by the nature of the format and demanding of a higher reading level than most pop-up books. Still, definitely neat. Grades 2-5. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Series: Encyclopedia Mythologica (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Nov Pop edition (January 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076363171X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763631710
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 2.7 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The myths of the ancient world hold much fascination for readers of all ages. Children especially seem drawn to tales of the Olympian deities, Viking legends and Mediterranean heroes. Couple this interest with the fantastic engineered paper books by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda, and you have a book kids can truly experience. In Encyclopedia Mythologica's GODS AND HEROES, the bestselling duo teams up again for a three-dimensional exploration of the tales of the ancient world.

The book starts in Egypt, and opening to the first page releases a large pop-up of the falcon-headed god Horus, son of Isis and Osiris and the god associated with the ancient pharaohs. A smaller page on this double-page spread tells Horus's story with several moving parts (look behind that for Imhotep's pyramid). Next it's off to Greece, where the castle of Mt. Olympus springs forth as does the legendary city of Atlantis and the figures of several Greek goddesses. The section on the "Kingdoms of the Mighty North" features a fierce Viking and a glimpse of Freyja as she leads her Valkyries into battle and a lovely pop-up illustration of the mythical cosmic ash tree called Yggdrasil.

Unlike so many children's books introducing mythology, GODS AND HEROES doesn't stop at Europe and Egypt but takes readers farther east to Asia and Oceania and to the Americas as well. Spider Woman, from Native American mythology, holds a web made of silvery thread, adding an interesting new textural element to the book. Refreshingly, Reinhart and Sabuda also give female deities and figures equal attention, like the violent Polynesian volcano goddess Pele, who seems to be spewing and flowing out of the volcano in the center of the page.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have collected pop-up books for over 30 years. This is the best one yet! It is a combination of imaginative and mind boggling artwork. The illustrations combined with information works to a great degree for all ages. I highly recommend this as a great gift for anyone for yourself or a loved one.
Sara F.
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By GiGi on January 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WOW! Matthew Reinhart has done it again! He, along with partner Robert Sabuda have, in the past, set the standard for paper engineering and artwork in their amazing repertoire of pop-up books, and this time they may well have surpassed themselves. Each spread is a lavish display of technological creativity, while at the same time imparting facts and intriguing information with the text. The little side pages which one expects to see from these artists/authors is, in this case, each a little gem unto itself. This is an amazing book. It would spoil the fun for me to describe what you will find in between its covers. Instead, I encourage you to purchase this treasure and get the enjoyment of an amazing experience for yourself. I wish I could give it twenty stars. Bravo, Matthew Reinhart! See other favorites here: Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the GalaxyCinderella: A Pop-Up Fairy Tale The Jungle Book: A Pop-Up Adventure (Classic Collectible Pop-Ups)A Pop-up Book of Nursery Rhymes (Limited Edition): A Classic Collectible Pop-Up
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After I ordered ENCYCLOPEDIA MYTHOLOGICA FAIRIES AND MAGICAL BEINGS POP-UP by Matthew Reinhart and saw how beautiful it is I had to get his GODS AND HEROES and after I wait 5 days for it to be shipped to my house it just amazes me how beautiful it really is!! I'm glad there is a video for all 3 of these MYTHOLOGICA books to get a good idea of how they look, but the low resolution video doesn't show the beauty of these books with sharp detail! When I see the Greek myth Mount Olympus Pop-up I revel in the detail of the Greek gods and I recognised nearly all of them standing and sitting in the temple buildings! Whether it's Hera, wife of Zeus, with her arms folded while Zeus sits on his throne or Hermes messanger of the gods flying over Olympus and Isis the rainbow goddess flying down her rainbow, the mythical characters are rendored both simply and beautifully in the pop-up stucture! And it all pop-up so fantastic!

And the mini pop-ups show both the fall of Atlantis by a furious Poseidan and Artemus, Athena, and Aphodite appear together next to the Atlantis scene in the mini pop-up! Since I am an animater, I am impressed with the motion effects acheived with these pop-ups! In the mini pop-up you can see Artemus the hunting goddess pulling back her arrow on her bow as the little pop-up opens! The next pages show a fold out ship depiction of Jason's ship the Argo with an incredible fold out sail that spreads out like a fan! There is also the 12 labours of Hercules displayed by pulling a tab to show the tasks Hercules must perform drawn onto different small pages that are revealed when you keep pulling the tab! The next pages have a great pop-up of Thor the thunder god striking down with his hammer when you open and close the pages!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I was younger, I loved pop ups. They were really expensive though. I tried to 'invent my own'. When I saw this on Amazon, I read all the reviews. I was really excited. I decided to splurge and pay around $25 for one. The book did not disappoint me. It delighted my inner child. The paper engineering is fantastic. It really makes you wonder how talented and creative Matt and his team must be. I want to meet them. I am now their biggest fan! If you are reading this Matt, teach me your ways! Seriously, I have never seen paper do the things it can do until I opened this book. You will be amazed. The colors and stories that accompany the book are also very fascinating. I learned a bit about different mythologies. I recognized a few from the East. This is definitely something special.
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