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School Library Journal
Gr 5-8- After an introduction to the civilization, each book begins with a creation story and continues with other central legends. Interspersed with the legends are brief descriptions of various topics relating to the culture, such as beliefs concerning the afterlife, music, religions, and so forth. The handsomely designed books are illustrated with works of art from the culture. Egyptian Myth is a well-organized presentation that includes information and tales about the gods and the pharaohs as well as magical stories and legends, providing an excellent introduction to this fascinating culture. Chinese Myth , while equally attractive and comprehensive, is less successful. Some of the information is not completely up-to-date. For example, the Xia dynasty, not the Shang, is now being recognized as the earliest dynasty based on archaeological evidence. Some inaccuracies exist as well. For example, the text is confusing when it discusses the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang Di, and implies that after his death, people began to consider him the immortal Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor, an entirely different character whose legendary origins begin in a much earlier period. Also there is confusion in the systems of transliteration with the third dynasty being referred to as the Zhou in one place and the Chou in another. These books promise much, and sometimes, but not always, deliver.-Barbara Scotto, Children's Literature New England, Brookline, MACopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.