Children's LiteratureWhile Marzollo is best known for her prolific "I Spy" books, she has written over 100 different books for babies, toddlers, and early readers. Pegasus is one of three in her recent foray into making Greek mythology accessible for young readers. She has adapted Ovid's tale of the birth of Pegasus, complete with a Greek chorus of owls that scrolls along the bottom of each page commenting on the action. In Marzollo's version, the hero Danae is a boy protecting his mother's best interests. Danae, then, becomes a hero with whom the reader can easily identify. He appeals to the gods Athena and Hermes for help. With their powerful support, Danae is able to defeat Medusa and ride off on Pegasus. The watercolor illustrations enhance the story with their bright colors and imaginative rendering of the action. The book provides wonderful opportunities for discussion between the child and a parent or teacher. On the frontispiece, Marzollo provides notes to teachers and parents with ideas for how to use the book in a classroom as part of creative role playing and for discussion. She definitely makes this foundational fiction accessible and appealing to its intended audience. When they encounter Greek mythology in later grades they will have a good background for delving deeper. 2006, Little Brown and Company/Time Warner, Ages 6 to 10.
Ilene S. Goldman