Basher History: Mythology: Oh My! Gods and Goddesses

Overview

The myths and stories of the gods and goddesses of the ancient world have a timeless appeal that captures the attention of generation after generation of children. Basher History: Mythology is an information-packed introduction to Greek/Roman, Norse and ancient Egyptian mythologies. Meet Zeus, father of the Greek gods (and learn that the Romans knew him as Jupiter), Norse Freyja, goddess of love, beauty, war and death, and Egyptian Bastet, goddess of cats, along with many others. This unique and upbeat guide is a...

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Overview

The myths and stories of the gods and goddesses of the ancient world have a timeless appeal that captures the attention of generation after generation of children. Basher History: Mythology is an information-packed introduction to Greek/Roman, Norse and ancient Egyptian mythologies. Meet Zeus, father of the Greek gods (and learn that the Romans knew him as Jupiter), Norse Freyja, goddess of love, beauty, war and death, and Egyptian Bastet, goddess of cats, along with many others. This unique and upbeat guide is a legend in the making.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-28
In Basher’s latest set of breezy “self”-portraits, 58 gods, demigods and mythological creations of diverse sort step up in turn to the microphone.The entrants are limited to the ancient Egyptian, Norse and Greco-Roman pantheons and arranged in no particular order within their respective chapters. They range from the usual celebrities like Poseidon (“rhymes with ‘Joe Biden’ ”), Odin and Osiris to some who have gotten less press, such as Hebe—“Waitress to the Olympians”—and Gefjon, Aesir goddess of plowing. Along with mixing in such non-Olympians as Odysseus, Budzik swells the ranks by lending voices to Bifrost, Yggdrasil and even the battle of Ragnarok. The author’s introductory claim that the gods gave mortals “something to believe in and ideals to aspire to when life was looking bleak” is massively disingenuous considering the speakers’ own accounts of their exploits (Hel complains, “It’s really grim here. I get the dreariest dead”). Nevertheless, the sex and violence are toned down to, for instance, Hera’s tart reference to “my hubby’s mortal girlfriends” and Isis’ allusion to “complicated family vibes” (following her brother/husband Osiris’ dismemberment by their brother, Seth). In a radical departure for Basher, some of his dolllike cartoon figures bear grimaces rather than cutesy smiles.More-systematic treatments abound, but the airy tone and quick-facts presentation give this some potential as a lighter-than-air refresher. (chart and foldout poster of Greek/Roman equivalents) (Mythology. 10-12)
School Library Journal
08/01/2014
Gr 4–8—This book briefly describes major figures in Greek, Norse, and Egyptian myths. The mythological figure's name is given, along with a "rhymes with" pronunciation hint, usually followed by information about the figure's antecedents. A paragraph of first-person description follows, rendered in a flip, lighthearted style ("'Yo, peons! It's me, Ra, ready to bring light, life, and food to the Nile valley, sailing full tilt across the sky in my daily royal procession.'"). Each description is accompanied by a digitally rendered cartoon drawing of the character. Unfortunately, this title is strong on quirky voice but weak when it comes to clarity and organization. Readers unfamiliar with the subject matter may find many details confusing, and though there is a glossary at the end, it is not helpful in every case. For instance, the entry on Dionysus notes that he is the only Olympian god with a mortal parent, but the book never clarifies what is meant by "Olympian god," and the very next entry is Asclepius, a god who also has one mortal parent. Nor are the 12 Olympians grouped together; Hephaestus is tossed in near the end of the chapter. While some readers may enjoy the brevity and humor, most libraries should consider this an additional title. For a book with more comprehensive coverage, consider Blake Hoena's Everything Mythology (National Geographic, 2014).—Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753471715
  • Publisher: Kingfisher
  • Publication date: 7/15/2014
  • Series: Basher History Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 403,398
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon Basher is the creator and illustrator of more than a dozen internationally bestselling books for children including the critically acclaimed Basher Science series. Based in London, Basher specializes in "graphic surrealism" and his original artwork is regularly exhibited and sold in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia.

 

Mary Frances Budzik is the author of previous Basher titles Grammar and Punctuation. She has a BA in English Literature from Boston College and an MA in English Literature from Colombia University. She lives in Connecticut.

 

Sue Alcock (consultant) is a professor of archaeolgy and classics at Brown University, specializing in ancient Greek and Roman culture.

Additional Consultants: Professor Richard Buxton (Greek/Roman), Dr John Haywood (Norse) and Dr Aidan Johnson (Egyptian)

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