THE BEAUTIFUL STORIES OF LIFE by Cynthia Rylant

THE BEAUTIFUL STORIES OF LIFE

Six Greek Myths, Retold
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 10 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

With elegant simplicity, Rylant retells the stories of Pandora, Persephone, Orpheus, Pygmalion, Narcissus and Psyche, six popular Greek myths involving powerful and poignant emotions. Pandora’s curiosity unleashes suffering on the world, but she salvages hope. When Hades abducts her daughter Persephone, Demeter’s grief causes the seasons to change. Orpheus’s inability to accept his bride’s untimely death leads to his own demise. Pygmalion’s passion for the beautiful woman he carves from marble brings her to life. Narcissus’s fixation on his own perfect image destroys him as well as the adoring Echo. Psyche’s selfless devotion to Eros survives Aphrodite’s jealous testing. The choices are appropriate for kids, who often fail to grasp complex mythical themes. Rylant’s clear explanations of relationships between gods and mortals as well as the underlying motivations and significance of each myth avoid condescension without sacrificing the details, richness and conventions of the original stories. Ellis’s formal black-and-white drawings are reminiscent of stylized classical Greek art and illustrate a dramatic moment from each myth. The small, square format completes this accessible and classy introduction to Greek mythology. (Mythology. 10 & up)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-15-206184-5
Page count: 88pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2009




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