Mythological Creatures: A Classical Bestiary

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Overview

A bestiary featuring mythical animals such as the gryphon and the chimera.

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Overview

A bestiary featuring mythical animals such as the gryphon and the chimera.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-6- Centaurs, Gryphons, and Harpies share the pages of this who's who of ancient Greek figures like Argus, the watchman with 100 eyes; the three-headed dog Cerberus; and Polyphemus, the Cyclops of Homer's Odyssey . Snippets of stories about Jason and Medea, Theseus and Ariadne, and other well-known characters will give readers tantalizing glimpses of the more intricate tales that await them. Although the title makes it clear that the book is about creatures of mythology, the section on Gryphons is slightly confusing in the way that it implies these half-lion, half-eagle beings did indeed exist in the natural world. Curlee's language is descriptive and lyrical. Combining formal, stylized images with touches of realism, the full-color acrylic paintings depict these characters with dramatic flair. Details mentioned in the text are often incorporated into the artwork, further enhancing the book's impact. This bestiary would be a good companion to Kate McMullan's "Myth-O-Mania" series, could pave the way for Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" books (both Hyperion), and whet appetites for further explorations of Greek mythology.-Farida S. Dowler, Mercer Island Library, WA

Kirkus Reviews
This is not so much a "bestiary" as a diverse gallery of figures from Greek mythology that are particularly suited to Curlee's distinctive, neoclassical style of illustration. He chooses 16 subjects, ranging from gryphons and centaurs to Pan, Argus (depicted weirdly as a man with eyes all over his body), Poseidon's fish-tailed son Triton and Talus, the bronze giant that guarded Crete. Aside from several notable exceptions like the gaping, gory head of Medusa, which stares stonily up from the page and will likely give many viewers the willies, all are posed in heroic profile and strongly, solidly modeled. The text facing each full-page portrait supplies physical descriptions, as well as abbreviated but clear versions of relevant myths. Curlee wraps the contents in a context-setting Prologue and Epilogue, so the entire volume not only provides an engrossing visual experience, but serves up a coherent early introduction to the range and purposes of these ancient tales. (Folklore. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416914532
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 465,576
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynn Curlee, who received a Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book Award for Brooklyn Bridge, comes from a family of intense sports fans. His other books include Liberty, Ships of the Air, Into the Ice: The Story of Arctic Exploration, Rushmore, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Capital, and, most recently, Parthenon. He lives on the North Fork of Long Island, New York.

Lynn Curlee, who received a Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book Award for Brooklyn Bridge, comes from a family of intense sports fans. His other books include Liberty, Ships of the Air, Into the Ice: The Story of Arctic Exploration, Rushmore, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Capital, and, most recently, Parthenon. He lives on the North Fork of Long Island, New York.

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