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From the prize-winning author and illustrator of Greek Myths and Greek Gods and Goddesses comes this wonderfully rich and varied collection of fifteen stories from Roman mythology, freshly retold and made accessible for today's readers.
Here are all the famous myths: the birth of Venus, the founding of Rome, how the sacred geese saved the city from the Gauls -- stories that reflect the drama and the power that was Rome. Here are all the great gods and goddesses, brought vividly to life: Jupiter, the king of the gods; Juno, his wife; warrior Mars; Mercury the messenger; Diana, the goddess of hunting; as well as many of the lesser gods and goddesses who controlled every aspect of Roman life.
Emma Chichester Clark's beautiful illustrations, inspired by Roman art and culture, perfectly reflect the liveliness of Geraldine McCaughrean's retellings.
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Geraldine McCaughrean begins with the Trojan War, travels with Aeneas to the Tiber River and the beginnings of Rome, and shares selected tales of Roman mythology until the time of attack by the Gauls. The familiar is represented--Vulcan and Venus, Romulus and Remus, Orion and Diana--as well as the less familiar--Ganymede, the golden bough, the twelve books of divination, and Juno's guardian geese. Andrew Sachs is a commanding narrator, delighted in the lore he shares. As god or goddess, he conveys imperiousness, wisdom, jealousy, and conspiracy. As mortal, he shares human frailties, energy, and fortitude. Thanks to Sachs's facile narration, the listener realizes how little human nature has changed; the escapades of Roman gods and mortals are familiar to us all. A.R. © AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 3-5-This companion to McCaughrean and Clark's Greek Myths (McElderry, 1993) is equally enjoyable. Fifteen tales introducing the Olympians and telling of Romulus and Remus, Philemon and Baucis, or the Sibylline prophecies lead nicely from one to the next, explaining Roman beliefs of fate and destiny in the telling. McCaughrean does this in her short, dramatized text by posing questions or suggesting motivation in a way that almost oversimplifies, or treats the subject casually. But she has accomplished an appealing and approachable introduction to Roman mythology that will make readers want to seek out more. Clark's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations also lend a light touch to the stories, suffusing every page with color in spot or full-page art. On the title page of each story, she imitates Roman art in an illustrated bar, and gives similar stylistic effects in page-number borders, but the bulk of her pictures are in her own appealing style that matches McCaughrean's tone beautifully. Brief notes on the myths make cultural references and hint at the wealth of more stories to be found, though, as there is no bibliography, readers will have to find them on their own. This attractive introduction should whet their appetites.
Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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