Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFayeIn this compelling selection from the "Looking at Myths and Legends" series, readers learn about the mythical life of the historical king Gilgamesh of the ancient land of Mesopotamia (Iraq). Like many hero-kings of myth and legend, Gilgamesh was a real man who was recreated through fantastic stories of his adventures. In this book, the half-god, half-human king spurns the god of love (Ishtar), kills the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba, the monster who stalks and protects the Cedars of Lebanon. Joining him on many of his adventures is Enkidu the wild man, who was created to become Gilgamesh's companion. Told in the sparse, but exciting prose common to legends, folk tales, and myths, these stories pull the reader into a complex and intriguing mythology. The stories are placed in a historical context by the author's forward and the frequent sidebars which present photographs of Mesopotamian artifacts that are carefully described and related to the stories. Useful in the classroom for discussions of mythology, history, and literature, this book would also be of interest to young readers who are looking for a good adventure story.
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