MEDUSA by Deborah Nourse Lattimore

MEDUSA

Age Range: 8 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Lattimore (Cinderhazel, 1997, etc) presents the Medusa legend as an elaborate curse orchestrated start to finish by a savagely jealous goddess. Though her mother is “one part poisonous eel, one part giant water snake, and a third part woman,” Medusa is so beautiful that Poseidon himself is entranced. When Medusa gloats privately that she is more beautiful than Athena, the wrathful goddess rises up, changes her into a snake-haired gorgon, and then pushes young Perseus into hunting her down and beheading her. The penalty's extremity makes Medusa something of a tragic figure, and she looks in Lattimore's swirling, patterned paintings more magnificent than hideous—even beautiful in a scaly, pointy-toothed way. Though the tale is fleshed out with the first part of the story of Perseus, the “hero” comes off as barely more than an instrument of divine will here; expand standard versions of the myth, such as Warwick Hutton's Perseus (1993), with this female-centered take. (Picture book/folk tale. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 31st, 2000
ISBN: 0-06-027904-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2000




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