Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A GIFT FROM ZEUS by Jeanne Steig


Sixteen Favorite Myths

by Jeanne Steig & illustrated by William Steig

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: June 30th, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-028405-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

The Steigs follow up A Handful of Beans: Six Fairy Tales (1998) with tales of heroic deeds, passionate love, mistreated women, and Olympian hanky-panky from an older tradition. Except for Hercules, who gets but an occasional mention, the major gods, demigods, and mortals are here, from tenderhearted (and, as it turns out, –livered) Prometheus, to Orpheus and Eurydice. With the illustrator adding an occasional spiky sketch featuring scantily clad nymphs or narrow-shouldered heroes, the author massages the classical plots with casually phrased dialogue and occasional light verse, such as this from the ravening Chimæra: “A tender maid for breakfast, / A toothsome lad for lunch, / Oh, the succulent flesh / Of the young and the fresh! / Crunch, crunch, crunch.” Readers already familiar with the stories will enjoy these somewhat skewed renditions immensely. (Mythology. 12+)