CYCLOPS by Leonard Everett--Adapt. & Illus. Fisher
Kirkus Star


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A well-known illustrator chooses a heroic tale that is especially well matched to his own powerful style: the story of Odysseus's terrifying encounter with Polyphemus, one of the ""ugly, mean giants who had one hideous eye in the center of their foreheads...and made thunderbolts for Zeus."" Fisher cites several standard sources for his narrative, which simply restates the stark events in Homer's original. Seeking refuge in the Cyclops's cave, Odysseus and his men are discovered and trapped; Polyphemus devours several before the wily wanderer and his remaining men contrive to blind him and escape by hanging beneath the giant's sheep as they exit from the cave. Merely serviceable prose, but Fisher's paintings wonderfully convey the tale's strength, terror, and universality. The mariners and their ship are tiny against the roiling waves, Sicily's mammoth cliffs, and the giant's fearsome bulk, yet they are undaunted. Polyphemus is a muscle-bound immensity whose single eye glares from a curiously realistic face that's sure to lure any child fascinated by such monstrous figures. The play of the Mediterranean sky's lush blue against the giant's flesh tones, his fire's evil glow, and the black depths of his cave enriches the drama. A fine achievement.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1991
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House