When Demeter's young daughter, Persephone, is kidnapped by the king of the underworld, the earth-goddess decrees that nothing will grow on Earth until the girl is returned to her. Laura Geringer brings a modern sensibility to her interpretation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's adaptation of the Greek myth about the origins of the seasons. She retells it as the story of a child caught between two adults who compete for her loyalty and affection. Leonid Gore's elegant and evocative paintings evoke the timeless world of myth.
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Geringer's adaptation of the Greek myth about the seasons boasts a few modern touches, namely, a slightly more outspoken and headstrong Persephone and a Demeter cast as something of a conflicted working mother. No longer is the kidnapped Persephone her uncle Hades's intended child bride, but a companion to a lonely old god who (rather ironically for the king of the dark and often cruel underworld) "needs a lively little girl to... brighten the rooms with her smile." These gods also use contemporary parlance: "You don't let her breathe," says Hades about Persephone, accusing his sister Demeter of being overprotective. Basing her work on an 1853 retelling by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Geringer (A Three Hat Day) also introduces such figures as Phoebus and Hecate and, incorporating other mythic elements as well, she advances the story at a leisurely pace. Despite the updating, she captures the timeless, bittersweet atmosphere of the ancient tale. Gore's (Jacob and the Stranger) misty, diaphanous images present the god's own world as one might imagine it in a vision or a dream; they are as seductive as the three succulent seeds with which Persephone, condemned as a consequence of eating them to three months a year in the underworld, seals her fate. Ages 7-9.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2^-4. Adapted from Hawthorne's "Pomegranate Seeds" published in Tanglewood Tales in 1853, Geringer's version of the story portrays the earth goddess Demeter as a modern working mother whose job sometimes takes her far away from her daughter, Persephone. The child is kidnapped one day by her uncle, King Hades, and taken to his dark domain. Aware that tasting any food will doom her to the underworld forever, she manages to fast until a young boy tricks her into tasting three pomegranate seeds. Finally rescued by Hermes, she returns to her heartbroken mother; temporarily freed from her uncle's clutches, she must dwell with him every winter. Gore's ink-and-acrylic illustrations offer a feathery, dreamlike view of this classical world, with emphasis on the characters rather than their surroundings. As one of the gentler stories from mythology, this will make a good choice for introducing the genre to younger children. Kay Weisman
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Leonid Gore (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0395681928
Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1995. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Leonid Gore (illustrator). First Edition. First Printing. Clear archival protector added to un-clipped jacket. Illustrated by Leonid Gore. Collector / gift giving quality. "Geringer's adaptation of the Greek myth about the seasons boasts a few modern touches, namely, a slightly more outspoken and headstrong Persephone and a Demeter cast as something of a conflicted working mother. Despite the updating, she captures the timeless, bittersweet atmosphere of the ancient tale." -- Publisher's Weekly. Bookseller Inventory # 087417
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