THE BOOK OF GODDESSES by Kris Waldherr

THE BOOK OF GODDESSES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An abecedary of 26 goddesses from cultures around the world. A bordered page of text faces a full-page watercolor illustration for each of the goddesses, from Athena to the Zorya (triple Russian goddesses like the Greek Fates). Waldherr includes Pele, the Hawaiian fire goddess; the Wawalak, aboriginal sister goddesses; and Yemana from the Cuban Santer¡a; as well as more familiar goddesses like Diana, Freyja, and Kuan Yin. In attempting to cover so broad a field, however, the text is superficial and in some cases, misleading: the city of Venice was not named for Venus; the ancient Ascension Day ceremony that marries Venice to the sea has nothing to do with that goddess. The Navajo Changing Woman is Mother Earth, not ""a kind-hearted earth goddess,"" and is usually represented (unlike her image here) with the corn plant. The illustrations are picture-postcard pretty but evoke no sense of power or divinity. Further, in a book that seeks to be inclusive, many races and cultures are portrayed, but more than a third of the paintings depict blond goddesses.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1996
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Beyond Words