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THE GOLDEN HOARD by Geraldine McCaughrean


by Geraldine McCaughrean & illustrated by Bee Willey

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80741-4
Publisher: McElderry

McCaughrean (The Odyssey, 1995, etc.) makes good on the subtitle—``Myths and Legends of the World''—with 22 exploits by the likes of Coyote, the Polynesian trickster Maui, Robin Hood, and St. George, all trippingly retold in a modern idiom: `` `Look out, here comes Quetzalcoatl,' said the Sun, glowering, lowering, his red rimmed eyes livid.'' Whether writing in a traditional, heroic vein, as in her tale of El Cid's final battle, or with the rap rhythm of the West Indian ``Anansi and the Mind of God,'' McCaughrean's voice is distinctive, and she puts her own spin on some stories, adding an ironic ending to the Sumerian ``Man Who Almost Lived Forever,'' and emphasizing the feminism in a Kikuyu tale of gender conflict. The illustrations are awkwardly drawn but vibrantly colored; Willey suggests each tale's source with culturally characteristic patterns and fashions, but the neoprimitive figures and compressed compositions have less impact than her slashes of red and orange, undulating blues and rich greens. While most of these tales are available elsewhere (some in other versions by McCaughrean), this is an unusually well-knit, wide-ranging gathering. Brief, nonspecific source notes are appended. (Folklore. 10-13)