Daedalus and the Minotaur (Tales of Ancient Lands)

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9781550374599: Daedalus and the Minotaur (Tales of Ancient Lands)

Inventor Daedalus, falsely accused of murder, is forced to flee Athens to the court of King Minos in Crete. The king commissions Daedalus to construct a gigantic labyrinth where he plans to imprison his disfigured son, Minotaur, a "monster" with a bull's head. Queen Passifay, wishing to protect her only son, urges Daedalus to prolong his work on her son's living grave. Daedalus, fearing that his life and the life of his son Icarus will be in danger when the labyrinth is completed, procrastinates as long as possible while stealing time to pursue his own dream--to devise wings in order to fly with his son.

The third story in the critically acclaimed Tales of Ancient Land series, Daedalus and the Minotaur explores themes of human aspiration, pride, parental love and friendship, in a fast, suspenseful narrative.

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About the Author:

Priscilla Galloway, PhD has told old Greek stories to two generations of enthralled listeners and is now joyously weaving them into her own writing. She has published adult non-fiction and children's books, and her poetry and short fiction have appeared in magazines and scholarly journals. She has also edited several anthologies. She has taught literature and writing at the high school and university levels and been honored as Teacher of the Year by the Ontario Council of Teachers of English. Priscilla Galloway lives in Toronto.

Normand Cousineau was born in Montréal and studied Graphic Arts. His editorial illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, The Observer and The Globe & Mail. He has also received a Merit Award from Studio Magazine.

From Booklist:

Gr. 4^-6. Part of Galloway's Tales of Ancient Lands series, this is no strict retelling of the classic Daedalus myth but, rather, a tale that humanizes the heroes and makes us question who is the monster. The great inventor Daedalus and his infant son, Icarus, find refuge in Crete, where over many years Daedalus builds a huge, elaborate labyrinth to hold the king's monstrous son, Minotaur. Gradually, it becomes clear that the Minotaur is not a monster but a severely disabled child who is hated by his father. The boy Icarus comes to love Minotaur and helps care for the outcast, even as Icarus himself is desperate to please his own demanding dad. Meanwhile, in secret, Daedalus is constructing the wings that he and his son must use to escape the treacherous king. A subplot about Daedalus despising women and then coming to respect them is gratuitous: this is a story about fathers and sons. Middle-graders will relate to Icarus' conflict, caught between his Minotaur friend, who needs him desperately, and his inventor father, who does not--or so Icarus thinks. The end, when Icarus and Daedalus embrace before they fly off together, may not be central to the myth, but it makes for a powerful 1990s climax. Normand Cousineau's dramatic ink and gouache pictures are like the bold, bright frescoes that Daedalus carves and paints on the labyrinth walls. Galloway includes an annotated bibliography, a list of Web sites, and notes on how she has changed the original versions. Hazel Rochman

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