SHAPESHIFTERS by Adrian Mitchell
Kirkus Star


Tales From Ovid's Metamorphoses
adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 12 & up
Email this review


Percy Jackson & Co. have aroused an interest in Classical (Greek and Roman) mythology, making this collection especially timely. In this marvelous re-creation of myth from Ovid, the late Mitchell has rewritten them, as he says in the introduction, “to make them more like themselves.” The language is simple and contemporary, moving from rhyme to free verse to prose and back again. The words are marvelously apropos, describing Bacchus as “all belly and beard” or rhyming “transmogrifications” with “grasshopperations.” All of these stories explore mystery: the origins of flowers, mountains, lakes. Pygmalion, Persephone, Midas and Arachne all appear here. The gods, being lusty and capricious sorts, are allowed the freedom of their appetites. Lee, famed illustrator of Middle Earth, makes men and women, gods and beasts, sea, sky and leaf shimmer on the page. The last image is of a broken helmet and columned ruin next to an open book nestled in a profusion of wildflowers, elegantly echoing (Echo is here, too) the closing lines, “my words will live / while people love them.” (dramatis personae, notes, pronunciation guide) (Mythology. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-84580-536-1
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2010


ChildrenNOBODY RIDES THE UNICORN by Adrian Mitchell
by Adrian Mitchell
ChildrenTHE UGLY DUCKLING by Hans Christian Andersen
by Hans Christian Andersen


ChildrenTHE WANDERINGS OF ODYSSEUS by Rosemary Sutcliff
by Rosemary Sutcliff
ChildrenBLACK SHIPS BEFORE TROY by Rosemary Sutcliff
by Rosemary Sutcliff
ChildrenTHE MOON'S REVENGE by Joan Aiken
by Joan Aiken