Cupid and Psyche

Cupid and Psyche

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by M. Charlotte Craft, Kinuko Y. Craft, Kinuko Craft
     
 

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Psyche is the most beautiful woman in the world, yet the oracle at Delphi foresees she will fall in love with a creature feared even by the gods themselves.

Magically, Psyche finds herself in a magnificent castle fitted with sweet music, attentive servants, and a charming but invisible host. Soon she falls in love with this man she has never seen, but in a moment

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Overview

Psyche is the most beautiful woman in the world, yet the oracle at Delphi foresees she will fall in love with a creature feared even by the gods themselves.

Magically, Psyche finds herself in a magnificent castle fitted with sweet music, attentive servants, and a charming but invisible host. Soon she falls in love with this man she has never seen, but in a moment of doubt she betrays his trust. To win back his love, Psyche must show that she is as brave as she is beautiful by performing three impossible tasks.

Perhaps the greatest love story of all, Cupid and Psyche is unsurpassed in its richness and drama. Marie Craft's lively, suspenseful retelling of this classic Greek myth will appeal to young and old alike. And these legendary lovers have inspired forty lush luminous paintings by award-winning artist Kinuko Craft.

Lavishly illustrated and thrillingly told, here is a book to be treasured forever.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The retelling of this Greek myth is overshadowed by the stunning paintings. Each spread contains two frames with a full-page painting on one and the other split to contain the text and a half page picture. The marble floors look so real you want to touch them. The richness of the oil over watercolors makes the paintings gleam. In this version, Psyche falls in love with a man she has never seen, but betrays his trust. To win back Cupid's love she must perform three impossible tasks. She succeeds because Cupid helps her, and eventually they are united forever.
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Love for Cupid and Psyche seems impossible when the goddess Venus requires three impossible tasks. The labors-and the book-are accomplished with magic and mystery. An extraordinary picture book, this classic love story of faith and courage is retold with stunning beauty. The full-page paintings possess a tapestry quality that draws in the readers. The language is magical-lyrical and challenging for a picture book.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8The late post-Hellenistic story of Cupid (Eros) and Psyche is more fairy tale than myth. It allegorically represents the maturing of the soul (psyche) under the influence of love (eros). Craft retells Apuleius's story (although Apuleius's name nowhere appears) with several minor and two significant changes. When Venus seeks revenge on the too-beautiful Psyche, she instructs her son to make the girl a slave (in various translations) to an "unworthy," "poor and abject," or "ugly and monstrous" love. Craft's charge is to make her love "the most frightening creature in the world," neatly meshing with the description of Cupid as one whose power even the gods fear. In abridging the story, Craft loses some of the tension in the family drama of the sisters' envy, Venus's enmity, and Psyche's efforts (here she is aided by Cupid, while in Apuleius even stones spontaneously help her). When she returns from her last task, with the box containing one day's beauty, Craft misses the connection between sleep and beauty, emphasizing instead the sleep of death. The sensational oil-over-watercolors should guarantee this book wide circulation. Elegantly bordered, the elaborate paintings incorporate elements of neoclassical, 19th-century, and Art Deco design into richly detailed, idealized romantic tableaux. The over-the-top lushness of the art compensates for the insipidity of the characters' faces, drawn from type rather than from life. This gorgeous Valentine will long outlast February's flurry.Patricia (Dooley) Lothrop Green, St. George's School, Newport, RI
Hazel Rochman
nger for reading aloud. Doris Orgel's "The Princess and the God" retells this archetypal love story for an older audience in Psyche's personal narrative voice with drama and passion and no illustrations. Here, the telling is simple and direct; the text is really a basis for the glowing narrative art. Craft's 40 full-page framed paintings, done in oil over watercolor, are lush and romantic in the style of the old European masters, with tempestuous goddesses and brooding landscapes that draw you deeper and deeper into the dark. The light is always around Psyche, the glamorous maiden, who acts out the tale of love and trickery, betrayal and courage. Readers will see the connections with all our versions of Beauty and the Beast, and this would be a good book to use across the curriculum for units on myth, literature, and art.
Kirkus Reviews
Craft's first book is a retelling of the famous story of Psyche, who is so beautiful that Venus, the goddess of beauty, is jealous. She sends her son, Cupid, to punish the mortal, but he falls in love with her. When Psyche fails to trust that love, she must perform seemingly impossible tasks to win Cupid back.

The text flows smoothly and retains a touch of formality, giving the story a suitably ancient resonance. The radiant oil- over-watercolor paintings are exquisitely detailed, filled with intricacies that reward long and careful scrutiny. The design of the book is meticulous, from an unusual, yet readable, typeface to the ornate borders, some of which resemble gold jewelry more than paintings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688131630
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/28/1996
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
265,710
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Charlotte Craft studied comparative literature at Columbia University in New York. After graduating, she traveled to Japan, where she worked as an interpreter and photographer. She now lives in Scotland with her family. The New York Times complimented her first book, Cupid and Psyche, for its "clear, simple text" and noted that the book a "excels in conveying the mythology."

In addition to Cupid and Psyche, she is also the illustrator of Marianna Mayer's Pegasus, Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Ms. Craft lives in Connecticut.

Kinuko Y. Craft has won more than one hundred graphic-arts awards, including three gold medals from the Society of Illustrators, and her paintings have appeared regularly on the covers of such national publications as Time and Newsweek. Says Kirkus Reviews, a "Every detail of her work — the flowers by a spring, a red cloak unfurled against a blue sky, moonlight on a tiger's back is beautifully rendered."

Kinuko Y. Craft, illustrator of Cupid and Psyche and Pegasus, by Marianna Mayer, lives in Norfolk, Connecticut.

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Cupid and Psyche 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
A Beautiful Retelling. I bought this book in 1996.  I was not a children's librarian then, nor did I ever expect to become one; I did not have any children then, nor did I expect to ever have any.  I did, however, have a cat named Psyche.  I also owned and loved the book Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis and had two versions of The Golden Ass (where the story of Cupid and Psyche first appeared in written form).  The spectacular cover art of this edition made me pick up Cupid and Psyche, and when I flipped through the book, I saw that the retelling was very well done.  So I bought it. I do not mean to dismiss the skill involved in a retelling of a classic myth by dwelling on the artwork in this book.  It is no easy task -- I have attempted it myself with Before the Beast -- but the illustrations in this version of the Cupid and Psyche tale are breathtakingly gorgeous.  I have read comparisons of K. Y. Craft's work to the Pre-Raphelite Brotherhood.  I don't disagree with the comparisons, but I don't think that as a description goes far enough.  There is something more than just a PRB influence.  I'm not sure what that more is, except that it is magical.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago