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CHANGING WOMAN AND HER SISTERS by Trina Schart Hyman Kirkus Star


Stories of Goddesses from Around the World

adapted by Trina Schart Hyman & illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

Age Range: 9 - 14

Pub Date: May 15th, 2006
ISBN: 0-8234-1999-1
Publisher: Holiday House

Why have the power and wisdom of goddesses faded so profoundly from our collective consciousness? What ancient truths might goddess myths unlock for young people today? These questions underpin Tchana’s spare, yet richly detailed retellings. Ten goddesses emerge, from cultures spanning the planet. Macha, a Celtic goddess who runs with horses, curses the feckless people who abet their king’s cruelty toward her. Kuan Yin, though born a princess, longs to fulfill her destiny as a compassionate Buddhist nun. Inanna, Sumerian goddess of agriculture and fertility, visits and magically returns from “the great below.” The pact she strikes with still-clinging demons accounts for Earth’s six months of barrenness, followed by fertile spring. The late Hyman’s 12 luminous paintings incorporate collage for the first time. Her goddesses are stylized, with large eyes and lithe limbs—yet not idealized. In a fascinating note, Hyman explains, for example, that she under-painted Changing Woman’s teenaged face with three others: a baby, mature woman and very old woman. Iconographic imagery embellishes portraits that seem to derive their grace and strength from the very goddesses themselves. A transcendent collaboration that will reward repeated study. (Folklore. 9-14)