Atlantis: The Legend of the Lost City

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A magnificently illustrated retelling of the story of Atlantis—one of the world's most haunting and fascinating myths.

Floating on the emerald sea is a small rocky island belonging to the mighty sea-god Poseidon. Few visit its shores-until Poseidon marries a beautiful woman named Cleito and transforms the island into a rich and fertile paradise, where all things flourish. A magnificent city arises. Poseidon names his perfect island Atlantis. Atlantis prospers and its people live...

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Overview

A magnificently illustrated retelling of the story of Atlantis—one of the world's most haunting and fascinating myths.

Floating on the emerald sea is a small rocky island belonging to the mighty sea-god Poseidon. Few visit its shores-until Poseidon marries a beautiful woman named Cleito and transforms the island into a rich and fertile paradise, where all things flourish. A magnificent city arises. Poseidon names his perfect island Atlantis. Atlantis prospers and its people live in peace, but as the years pass, Poseidon's descendants start to act less like gods and more like men. When the people incur the wrath of their god, a terrible curse is carried out and the entire island sinks forever beneath the waves.

This retelling of the history of fabled Atlantis is based on Plato's Timaeus and Critias. It features a note by internationally known historian Geoffrey Ashe, who has written extensively in the area of mythology.

Recounts the legend of the lost civilization of Atlantis. Includes a note discussing various explanations for the legend.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
According to legend, the island of Atlantis was set up as a paradise kingdom by the sea god Poseidon for his bride Cleito and their descendants. The god creates a city of beauty with all one could desire, but sets laws prohibiting violence and cruelty, promising disaster if the laws are disobeyed. The evils of human nature persist, however, and Poseidon must sink the island into the sea. Archeologists seek it to this day, as the added note tells us, in many possible places, but whether and where it lies remains a mystery. Such a mystical tale deserves the fanciful visual setting on these double pages. Figures are stylized, hinting at those found on ancient Crete, with multi-patterned clothes and ornate hairstyles. Everything glitters, all surfaces are decorated, almost every square inch is alive with surface embellishments. The pages are redolent with exotic visuals that fill our eyes with the story of human glory destroyed by human folly. 2000 (orig. 1999), Henry Holt and Company, Ages 6 to 9, $16.95. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-Through luminous illustrations and simple prose, Balit lures readers to Plato's legend of Atlantis. Poseidon, ruler of the water, falls in love with Cleito, a happy maiden on a small, rocky island. They marry, he transforms the island into a paradise, and she bears five sets of twin sons. Their descendants intend to rule the lands in accord with Poseidon's laws of peace, but throughout time become less godlike, prompting Poseidon to create a forceful storm that drives Atlantis to the bottom of the sea. Whimsical, buoyant images depict the sea and her creatures; raven and henna-haired Greek characters are painted in profile; tiny figures stroll hand in hand throughout palatial splendor during Atlantis's glory days, fighting amid ruins during the decline. Boldly colored illustrations extend the text with pleasing design covering three quarters of each double-page spread. An afterword by British historian Geoffrey Ashe mentions some of the theories associated with the myth. As a read-aloud to early elementary students, or a read-alone for older students, this picture book will captivate a new generation of children intrigued with the mysteries of this timeless legend. Holly Wallace's The Mystery of Atlantis (Heinemann Library, 1999) offers theories of the island's possible existence and location.-Laura Scott, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
Balit (Twelve Labors of Hercules, 1997) recasts Ancient World accounts into a spare narrative, describing Atlantis's creation as Poseidon's wedding gift to his mortal bride Cleito, its idyllic early history, gradual descent into lawlessness, and final punitive submergence. In page-and-a-half-spread paintings that evoke ancient styles without copying them, figures posing in dignified, majestic profile give way to smaller scenes of urban decay and street violence, culminating in a mighty wave driven by Poseidon's anger, and a final view of broken, coral-decorated buildings. Though the story has often been told at greater length, this is a new format for it. A closing note by Geoffrey Ashe, author of Atlantis: Lost Lands, Ancient Wisdom (not reviewed), puts the tale into both historical and cultural perspective. (Picture book/folk tale. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805063349
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.08 (w) x 11.12 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Christina Balit has illustrated a number of children's books published in Great Britain and the United States. She spent many of her early years in the Middle East and Iraq before moving to England, where she lives today.

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