The Adventures of Thor the Thunder God

Overview

He is the biggest and mightiest of the gods. If he tightens his belt, he doubles his strength. If he swings his hammer, lightning flashes. When he races his billy goats across the sky, their hooves kick up huge thunderclouds. And when the folks below in Middle Earth hear a boom of thunder, they always smile, for they know their loyal Thor, protector and defender of civilization, has once again brought order to the universe. Told and retold often and with great affection, the Thor stories have been around since ...

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Overview

He is the biggest and mightiest of the gods. If he tightens his belt, he doubles his strength. If he swings his hammer, lightning flashes. When he races his billy goats across the sky, their hooves kick up huge thunderclouds. And when the folks below in Middle Earth hear a boom of thunder, they always smile, for they know their loyal Thor, protector and defender of civilization, has once again brought order to the universe. Told and retold often and with great affection, the Thor stories have been around since the days of the Vikings. Here, illustrated with high drama and written with humor and skill, are ancient stories made accessible and fun.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An engaging gateway to the many larger collections of Norse myths. . . . Equally suited to reading alone or aloud." Kirkus 5/15/07 Kirkus Reviews

"There’s a substantial glossary and pronunciation guide, and a good list for further reading, and libraries short of Norse mythology will find the book a welcome introduction." SLJ 7/1/07 School Library Journal

"The illustrations are as big and brilliant as the characters and bring the stories to life." LMC January 2008 Library Media Connection

Publishers Weekly

The namesake of the fifth day of the week gets a fresh look in this compilation of Thor stories by Lunge-Larsen (Noah's Mittens). The Norwegian-born author drew upon the tales of her youth in putting together this collection that features the revered Thunder God. The opening sentence explains his stature: "The Vikings worshiped many gods, but Thor was their favorite because he was the biggest, strongest, and bravest. He kept everyone safe from the evil giants." The ensuing eight stories detail Thor's family, the origins of his strength and some of the battles he fought, as well as relate a few of the humorous pickles the mighty god found himself in, such as when he had to dress as a bride to get back his stolen battle hammer. Despite the book's length and a sprinkling of Norwegian words (a glossary is given at the end), the conversational narrative reads easily, providing enough details about each character to avoid confusing audiences. Madsen's (Call Me Little Echo Hawk) majestic digitally rendered illustrations bring the tales to life, echoing their humor, with many characters portrayed in caricature. While some scenes resemble lush oil paintings (including a spread of giants stalking the land against an imposing purple mountain backdrop), others (such as bits of spot art that capture a character's emotion or introduce a new setting) could pass as animation stills. These retellings offer an accessible and engaging doorway into the world of Norse mythology. Ages 6-10. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Carly Reagan
The classic Viking tales of Thor are here collected and retold in one thrilling book. The well-written adaptations are simple and humorous, accompanied by rich and vibrant illustrations, and capture the true excitement of the myths. Thor and his magic hammer, Mjolnir the Thunderbolt, appear in eight different stories featuring giants, gods, dwarves, and other fantastical creatures. An informative glossary in the back of the book explains unfamiliar words and names, making the tales easier for modern readers to understand. Throughout these adaptations, the author maintains the themes and morals that accompany most classic tales: strength, courage, loyalty, intelligence, and the triumph of good over evil. A fantastic introduction to Norse mythology, this collection would be a worthy addition to any educator's arsenal when planning a classroom unit about mythology or fairy tales at any grade level. Though the tales of Thor are often overshadowed by other, more common myths, the appeal and accessibility of this collection could help bring the classic Norse mythology back into classrooms and, in effect, mainstream knowledge overall.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6
This heavily illustrated, oversize volume introduces the pantheon of Norse gods and giants and some of Thor's family members and then relates several well-known tales of the Thunder God. Drawing on tales heard in her own childhood and those found in well-known collections and some secondary sources, Lunge-Larsen adds dialogue and descriptive details to the spare retellings. Usually, the stories move along well, though occasionally the use of colloquial language somewhat diminishes the grand stature of the characters. "'You know what?' said Thor. 'You're a powerful little fellow, and I'm proud to call you my son.'" The Norse names of the characters have been retained with only Thor's magical goats renamed in English as Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. Thor tangles with Loki, receives his wonderful hammer, duels with Rugnir, is outwitted by Outgardloki, and bears the humiliation of dressing as Freya to retrieve his stolen hammer from Trym. The generous digital illustrations are mixed in execution and appeal. There are plenty of strong and ugly characters but many have the flat, unrealistic look of those common to many animated films. Less vivid than Thor of Marvel Comics fame, they lack the realism and compelling power of the god rendered in some paintings and prints. There's a substantial glossary and pronunciation guide, and a good list for further reading, and libraries short of Norse mythology will find the book a welcome introduction.
—Margaret BushCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Billing Thor as the Vikings' favorite god, because he was "the biggest, strongest and bravest," a veteran talespinner smoothly retells five of his better-known exploits, from feeding a poor family on two goats that magically reconstitute themselves in the morning to getting his stolen hammer back by impersonating the goddess Freya. He comes across as a blustery but compassionate sort here, ever ready to defend the gods against trolls and Jotun (giants)-though his own mother was a giant-and to forgive even the pranks of his Jotun foster brother Loki. In Madsen's big, luminous digital paintings, the Jotun and dwarves-beetle-browed, bull-necked and scowling-look particularly thuggish next to the handsome, graceful residents of Asgard. As in the tales themselves, the tone is more comic than violent. Though the stories are easy to find elsewhere (Bruce Coville's rendition of Thor's Wedding Day (2005), illustrated by Matthew Cogswell, is particularly uproarious), all together they make an engaging gateway to the many larger collections of Norse myths, and are equally suited to reading alone or aloud. (source and reading lists, glossary, pronunciation guide) (Folktales. 9-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618473014
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/18/2007
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,002,657
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Lise Lunge-Larsen is an award-winning author and a professional storyteller. Born and raised in Norway, she lives with her family in the hills of Duluth, Minnesota.

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