THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE SKY by Steve Zeitlin

THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE SKY

Creation Stories and Cosmologies from Around the World
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 11 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

“One person’s religion is often another’s mythology,” writes the author. He could have added “or science,” because into this study of how diverse cultures have explained or interpreted the universe he folds chapters on both European cosmology from Ptolemy to Galileo, and on the Big Bang and string theory. Interspersing briefly told creation myths printed in a different typeface, he begins with views of Earth and Sky as Man and Woman (Maori and ancient Egyptian). In a chapter titled “Something out of Nothing,” he pairs the origin of the Greek gods and the first part of Genesis. Next he goes on to summarize cyclical views (Hindu, Norse), the heliocentric theory challenged by Copernicus and Kepler, the cosmos as a woman (Jain), a mirror (Haitian Vodou), a series of animal images, even, for a small Amazonian group, a brain. Finally, as “The Cosmic Egg,” ancient Chinese and modern scientific scenarios. Raschka opens each chapter with a design drawn from an appropriate culture’s artifacts. Zeitlin not only puts the scientific study of the cosmos into an unusual context (carefully pointing out the essential difference between telling stories, and actually testing them), he draws fascinating comparisons throughout, then closes with enthusiastic notes on sources and further reading. The result is a thought-provoking companion to Virginia Hamilton’s more story-oriented In the Beginning (1988). (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2000
ISBN: 0-8050-4816-2
Page count: 132pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2000




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