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Iduna and the Magic Apples

Iduna and the Magic Apples

by Marianna Mayer, Laszlo Gal

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Iduna is a fair-haired goddess from ancient Norse mythology who tends a magic garden in the kingdom of Asgard. In her verdant domain, flowers grow alongside clear streams, sweet grass and abundant fruit trees, but the greatest treasure of all is a chest of golden apples that give everlasting youth and vitality to the gods. In this vivid retelling of a haunting tale, disaster strikes when Thiassi, hateful enemy of the gods, succeeds in abducting Iduna and the apples from her paradise. With Iduna imprisoned in a fortress of stone, death haunts the once-invincible gods and the magic garden withers into a perpetual doom. An ominous black raven looks on from the border on each page, lending a spooky touch, but the artworkfor all its careful touches and ornate landscapesis occasionally uneven. Most distressing are the portrayals of Iduna; her image is inconsistent throughout the book. Ages 5-9. (September)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-- A stirring picture-book rendition of the Norse myth of how Iduna's apples kept Odin and the other gods from growing old, until Thiassi, a monstrous giant in hideous bird shape, plotted to kidnap her and gain the power of the apples. After evil black insects, evolved from Thiassi's cast-off feathers, sting Iduna with their poisonous venom, she becomes alarmingly weak. This provides the opportunity for the god Loki, succumbing to treachery as a condition for saving his own life, to deliver her to Thiassi. The Everlasting Garden begins to die as winds, rain, and snow battle it. The gods themselves begin to age and decline, until they coerce Loki to rescue Iduna. The text is a delight. Mayer's poetic style of writing echoes the beauty and tranquility of the Everlasting Garden. Lyrical descriptive passages will evoke vivid scenes in readers' imaginations. Superbly crafted, the retelling is made more compelling by Mayer's astute use of engrossing dialogue as well as embedded phrases and short sentences and implied pauses. Gal's sweeping compositions dramatically evoke the myth's ever-changing mood. Strikingly framed by identical side panels (albeit in the same muted sepia tones), the double-page spreads offer a visual interpretation in a majestic classical style. Gal uses a resin-color wash with egg tempera on paper technique highlighted by cross hatchings and colored pencil to add detail and texture. The action is perceived as frozen-in-time vignettes, each poignant moment enhancing the narrative. This book will be a valuable addition to mythology collections. --Ronald Jobe, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American ed
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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