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GODS AND GODDESSES OF THE ANCIENT NORSE by Leonard Everett Fisher

GODS AND GODDESSES OF THE ANCIENT NORSE

By Leonard Everett Fisher (Author) , Leonard Everett Fisher (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2002
ISBN: 0-8234-1569-4
Publisher: Holiday House

Fisher (Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Maya, 1999, etc.) looks to Scandinavia for his latest gallery of the gods, presenting somber portraits of Odin, Thor, and a dozen of their associates paired to tossed-off bits of information about each. Despite some arresting images—one-eyed Odin glowering up from the front cover, for instance, or Loki, chained for his misdeeds, writhing in agony as a snake drips venom onto his face—overall the art is unusually static even for Fisher, who either poses his figures making melodramatic but obscure gestures, or just has them stand around looking off into the distance. The writing too is inconsistent; readers learn the name of Heimdall’s trumpet but not Thor’s hammer, are left in the dark about what Niffleheim is, and get either fragments of tales, or vague comments like “[Odin] allowed his body to be hurt to learn the mysterious writings called ‘runes’.” A schematic map and family tree help, but this is a weak link in the series. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)