The goat-footed god of “noise and confusion” (also herds and herders) offers up giddy versions of his best known pranks and exploits.
Starting from ancient sources but embellishing them considerably, Gerstein sends his irrepressible narrator bounding through cartoon scenes of his own birth to Hermes and an unnamed mother—both golden-haired—and early stay atop Mount Olympus. Quickly wearing out his welcome there, Pan settles in rustic Arcadia, where, in a rare moment of irritation sparked by an ant’s sneeze, he invents “panic” with a bellow that extends in electric colors over three full pages. He then goes on to marry Echo after several false starts, help Zeus settle the monster Typhon, lose a music battle to Apollo, help the Greeks win at Marathon, and fake everyone by announcing his own death. Along with making Typhon female, lining up the retired gods in modern dress for a family photo “somewhere in Greece—or is it Canada?” and other tweaks, the author tucks in the story of how Apollo changed King Midas’ ears to those of a jackass (“a mean trick, but it sure was funny”) and closes with a final frazzling “YEEEAAAHOOOO!” from the hairy trickster in an unidentified city park.
If ever there was a god of fun, here he is…no mythtake. (afterword, bibliography). (Picture book/mythology. 7-11)