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Favorite Norse Myths Paperback – December, 2000

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this stunning volume, Osborne and Howell return from Favorite Greek Myths and Mermaid Tales from Around the World to uncover a cache of tales from another dynamic tradition. Originating from the pre-Christian culture of the Vikings, these 14 legends taken from the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda largely revolve around the incessant squabbling among the energetic Norse gods and goddesses and the ominous frost-giants. Dwarves, dark elves and magical animals also play key roles, while plots feature clever disguises, spells and crafty ploys, many masterminded by this collection's liveliest character, the trickster god Loki. An abundance of well-pitched dialogue makes these potentially dense tales admirably accessible to the target audience. Howell's majestic art, rendered on rag board in acrylics with oil washes, conveys an impressive range of moods as it echoes the stories' key themes, among them the sometimes nebulous nature of good and evil, the effects of the gods' actions on the natural world and the rebirth of life after an apocalyptic confrontation between the deities and their foes marks the end of "time's morning." Subtle line drawings, re-creations of primitive Viking art, scratched onto the surface of each commanding, double-page painting enrich the historical patina. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-6?An eye-catching, well-told collection of Norse myths by the team who created Favorite Greek Myths (Scholastic, 1989). In her introduction, Osborne says that her intention in retelling these myths was to "present the stories as simply and clearly as possible, without sacrificing their mythic tone." She certainly accomplishes her goal, for the 14 stories included here all possess a straightforward narrative but never lose sight of their power and magic. Among the myths included are "How Thor Got His Hammer," "The Golden Apples," and "The Death of Balder." Howell's illustrations are an ideal companion to the tales. Using a combination of acrylic and oil paints, the artist creates powerful and memorable images of the gods, goddesses, and giants who populate Norse mythology. While there are other excellent volumes on this topic, Padraic Colum's classic The Children of Odin (Macmillan, 1962) and Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire's Norse Gods and Giants (Doubleday, 1967; o.p.) among them, Osborne and Howell's title is both accessible and entertaining.?Denise Anton Wright, Illinois State University, Normal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (December 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590480472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590480475
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As an advocate for pure mythology, I am pleased to say that this book is an excellent piece of historical literature. Many stories tend to stray away or add to the original writings of myths, but not this one. It goes without saying that the authors of this book did their homework and researched the actual tales. The art is magnificant, and really adds to the quality of the work. If you have children who are tired of the repeated Greek Classics, then I highly recommend this twist on the myths. I think they will appreaciate the change. Remember, this is not some watered down piece of work, this is as close, in chidren's books, to the true nature of Norse Myth as you will find. An excellent piece of work
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A Kid's Review on March 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
Favorite Norse Myths is all about stories Norse men believed. There are 14 different stories about gods, giants, and sea serpents. The book was interesting because Norse men actually believed in these stories. It was awesome the way the author told about the myths. I love the part of the nine worlds. This is the best book I ever read. I recommend other students read it.
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By A Customer on July 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mary Pope Osborne is the author of the Magic Tree House series of kids books. She tells a good story.
I learned next to nothing about Norse myths when I was a kid. My Swedish American husband checked this book out of the library to read to our 5 y.o. daughter. It was over her head then (7 y.o. is probably more appropriate), but hubby and I really enjoyed it. We've checked it out numerous times since, and probably should just buy it already! It's a fun referrence book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great book for teaching and enjoying the Norse myths with children. Beautifully illustrated as well. I used this in a literature class with 5th and 6th graders. I'm a big believer in teaching the old classics Greek myths, middle ages legends etc. It used to be that an "educated" person knew this stuff and I heartily believe that should still be the case as there are many references and allusions to the classics throughout literature, music, film etc. When my little class read this book, the kids were amazed. They didn't know Thor and Loki predated comics and movies.....aaaahhhhh.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book about Norse myths for children. If we were only to get one book it would be D'Aulaire's book of Norse Myths. However, Mary Pope Osborne's book is a nice complement to D'Aulaire's. The illustrations are very different and the stories are told somewhat more simply. We love Mary Pope Osborne and are happy to have this book.
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Format: School & Library Binding Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book for people of all ages.

It has a pronunciation key, (As each name sounds type), in the back of the book as one of its attributes.

The biggest joy is that the authoress takes the Norse myths, which I have always found to be a perplexing bunch of near madness, and renders it all readable. This could not have been easy. Even readable and with clear stories a person can follow there's no doubt that Norse myths are difficult to feel an affinity towards.

It is a pure positive "can do" experience. The names can be pronounced, the myths followed, and thus a person can clue in.

I am not going any further with the theme of Norse myths. I only have this book and I am sticking to this book.

The artwork by Troy Powell is great.
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By JohannS on December 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the book for my son. He devoured it quickly, and loved it very much. I am thankful that these myths are kept alive in such a way that children can read and enjoy them. Although some of the facts seem to be somewhat differently expressed, and even changed by the author, the general drift of the legends are clear. I just wish such authors kept closer to the real old manuscripts or translations.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I knew very little about Norse myths before i bought this book and so this was perfect for me. It was a wonderful overview of all the main myths. It was Very well written. It has beautiful art work as well. I really enjoyed it and will read it again. I also bought, and am reading, a book about Norse myths that was recomended by this author in the back of the book, and that has been a great read as well.
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