Realms of Gold: Myths and Legends from Around the World

Realms of Gold: Myths and Legends from Around the World

by Ann Pilling, Kady MacDonald Denton

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Pilling draws from the folklore of numerous cultures in this eclectic if ultimately uneven collection. Featuring classic themes of love, greed, jealousy and the battle between good and evil, the 14 entries are of varying length and complexity, making it difficult to pinpoint the appropriate audience. Divided into three categories (``Earth, Air, Fire, and Water,'' ``Love and Death'' and ``Fools and Heroes''), the tales range from the succinctly told ``Iyadola's Babies,'' an endearing West African myth that offers an explanation why babies are born with various skin colors; to the labyrinthine ``The Death of Balder,'' a relatively lengthy Norse legend that will be slow-going for most youngsters. Among the volume's best offerings are a lively retelling of the Greek myth ``King Midas'' and ``The Wishing Fish,'' an entertaining Russian story about a magical fish who teaches a lesson to an avaricious woman. The volume is copiously--and deftly--illustrated by Denton, whose spot art and larger illustrations display an intriguing amalgam of styles reflective of the tales' countries of origin. Ages 5-up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-- The Greek figures on the attractive jacket may be misleading, for, as the subtitle indicates, the 14 stories within are also from the African, Native American, Pacific, Norse, Celtic, Indian, Chinese and Russian traditions. Organized topically, the tales about ``Earth, Air, Fire and Water'' include an unusual flood story from Nigeria. Among those about ``Love and Death'' is a moving Welsh tale of canine loyalty (``Bedd Gelert'') and an even more inspiring story from India, ``The Hare in the Moon.'' Four tales of ``Fools and Heroes'' include a Russian version of ``The Wishing Fish.'' Although the language is not particularly easy, a large, clear typeface makes the text accessible. Lucid, luminous watercolors enliven every page; their details are accurate and informative, but not overwhelming. Unpretentious and engaging, Denton's cheerful illustrations and vignettes contribute to the combination of ``wisdom and delight'' in this appealing, generously sized volume. --Patricia Dooley, University of Washington, Seattle
Julie Corsaro
This wonderful collection includes not only "myths and legends from around the world" but also folktales and fables. Pilling's succinct prose is both eloquent and homey in 14 stories ranging from the humorous west African creation myth "Iyadola's Babies" ("I hope you're behaving yourselves, here on earth. I made it you know. I expect you to look after it") to the poignant Welsh legend "Bedd Gelert." The appeal is broad, with tales about fools--among them, King Midas and the giant Bennadonner--particularly enchanting for younger children, while older children will best appreciate the heroic adventures of Balder and Perseus. The spacious format has large print set against crisp white space and copious wash-and-line drawings. The illustrations reflect a range of cultures with delicate yet sprightly lines, sturdy forms, and a diverse palette. A most welcome offering for storytelling and reading aloud.

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1st American ed

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