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In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World

Overview

The origin of the universe, and all that is in it, has always been cause for wonder. For thousands of years, people have made up stories in an attempt to explain the beginning of humankind, the earth, and the cosmos.

Beautifully told by Virginia Hamilton and splendidly illustrated by Barry Moser, In The Beginning is a collection of twenty-five creation myth stories that will engage and fascinate readers while introducing them to cultures around the world. Researched extensively ...

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Overview

The origin of the universe, and all that is in it, has always been cause for wonder. For thousands of years, people have made up stories in an attempt to explain the beginning of humankind, the earth, and the cosmos.

Beautifully told by Virginia Hamilton and splendidly illustrated by Barry Moser, In The Beginning is a collection of twenty-five creation myth stories that will engage and fascinate readers while introducing them to cultures around the world. Researched extensively by both author and illustrator, each story includes one or more illustrations - all stunning complements to the text. And each story is followed by author comments that tell about its origin.

The stories in this book reflect the wonderful range of the human imagination. In an Eskimo myth, for example, the first man pushes his way out of a pea pod. In a story from the Kono people of Guinea, death starts the world. A dramatic myth from China tells that the universe was originally in the shape of a hen's egg - and from this burst the first being.

To read the diverse beliefs of people around the world, both ancient and contemporary, broadens our understanding of others and strengthens our own spirituality. Intriguing, often humorous, and always fascinating, In The Begining is a memorable book for readers of all ages.

An illustrated collection of twenty-five myths from various parts of the world explaining the creation of the world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152387426
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/1991
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 248,044
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 10.04 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Virginia Hamilton

BARRY MOSER is the prize-winning illustrator of many beautiful books for children and adults, including Harcourt's Telling Time with Big Mama Cat and Sit, Truman!, both co-illustrated by his daughter Cara Moser and written by Dan Harper. He has won the American Book Award and earned accolades from the American Library Association and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Mr. Moser lives in western Massachusetts.

Biography

A writer of prodigious gifts, Virginia Hamilton forged a new kind of juvenile fiction by twining African-American and Native American history and folklore with contemporary stories and plotlines.

With Hamilton's first novel, Zeely, the story of a young farm girl who fantasizes that a woman she knows is a Watusi queen, she set the bar high. The book won a American Library Association Notable Children's Book citation. Hamilton rose to her own challenge, and every new book she published enriched American literature to such a degree that in 1995 she was awarded the ALA's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for lifetime achievement.

Born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and raised in an extended family of farmers and storytellers (her own father was a musician), Hamilton's work was inspired by her childhood experiences, family mythology, and Ohio River Valley homeland. In an article about the importance of libraries in children's lives, she credits her mother and the "story lady" at her childhood public library with opening her mind to the world of books.

Although she spent time in New York City working as a bookkeeper after college, and traveled widely in Africa and Europe, Hamilton spent most of her life in Yellow Springs, anchored by the language, geography, and culture of southern Ohio. In The House of Dies Drear, she arranged her story around the secrets of the Underground Railroad. In M. C. Higgins, the Great, winner of both a John Newbery Medal and a National Book Award, she chronicled the struggles of a family whose land, and life spirit, is threatened by strip mining. Publishers Weekly called the novel "one of those rare books which draws the reader in with the first paragraph and keeps him or her turning the page until the end."

In her series of folk-tale collections, including The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales, In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World, and Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales, Hamilton salvaged and burnished folk tales from cultures across the world for her stories; stories that suffused her fiction with its extraordinary blend of worldly and otherworldly events, enchantment, and modern reality. Virginia Hamilton died on February 19, 2002.

Good To Know

Hamilton's first research trip to a library was to find out more about her family's exotic chickens, which her mother called "rainbow layers," because of the many tints of the eggs they laid.

In 1995, Hamilton became the first children's writer to win a John D. and Catherine C. MacArthur "genius" grant.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      March 12, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yellow Springs, Ohio
    1. Date of Death:
      February 19, 2002
    2. Place of Death:
      Yellow Springs, Ohio
    1. Education:
      Attended Antioch College, Ohio State University, and the New School for Social Research
    2. Website:

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