Sacred Animals

Sacred Animals

4.5 2
by Kris Waldherr
     
 

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Kris Waldherr has combed the world's mythologies to create a stunning multicultural collection of images and information about magical animals. Dazzling full-color portraits acompanied by lively, well-researched commentaries explore the special significance of sixteen animals in the traditions of diverse cultures and religions. The origins of fox's reputation for…  See more details below

Overview

Kris Waldherr has combed the world's mythologies to create a stunning multicultural collection of images and information about magical animals. Dazzling full-color portraits acompanied by lively, well-researched commentaries explore the special significance of sixteen animals in the traditions of diverse cultures and religions. The origins of fox's reputation for cunning, the legend of how raven stole the sun, the reason why some Orkney fishermen believe they are related to seals, and other fascinating folk tales and myths are recounted here. A work of both art and scholarship, Sacred Animals is a magnificent gift for animal lovers of all ages.

Editorial Reviews

Shelley Townsend-Hudson
Using the elements of earth, air, water, and fire as organizational themes, this splendid book captures the rich diversity of animals as depicted in story, myth, and nature. Earth animals--the bear, the fox, the cat, and the snake--have long been honored in legend for their supernatural powers. In Navaho tradition, bears and humans have a special bond; in Japan the fox is associated with the god of food. Water animals include the dolphin, which is especially important in Greek myth, as well as the carp, the seal, and the frog. Fire animals--the falcon, the dragon, and the chimera--represent rebirth, with the legendary phoenix serving as a universal symbol for immortality. Air animals, such as the raven, sometimes symbolize peace and immortality, sometimes death and misfortune. Glorious, illuminated color illustrations, with exquisite decorative borders are certain to engage browsers, and a bibliography listing books of Greek and Norse myth, creation stories, European folklore, and Native American legends can spur children to investigate other stories.
Beth Tegart
This lovely browsing book has wondrous art and just enough information to whet the appetite of fantasy fans. The work is divided into four sections-earth, air, water, and fire. Lavish, full-page color paintings of 16 real and imaginary animals, including a bear, a raven, a carp, and a dragon, are each accompanied by a facing page of text that briefly retells various legends and beliefs about the creature along with a smattering of fascinating facts. Gold borders around the pictures and the text enhance the presentation. The illustrations are the highlight of this offering.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
Children's Literature
Animals are widely represented in mythology and folklore and the author provides an overview of many of the stories, taking a fanciful rather than a scholarly approach. The book contains four sections¾earth, air, water and fire, and four animals are featured in each section. In some instances, the myths of different cultures based upon the same animal are widely disparate. The snake is presented within the earth category as a creature symbolic "of creation and destruction, of wisdom and of deceit." The snake appears in Greco-Roman mythology and, of course, in the story of creation. It also represents "the elemental forces of chaos" in Norse mythology. The legend of the fabled phoenix, a symbol of immortality, is found in many cultures and the dolphin has caught the imagination of people throughout the ages. It is not surprising that the butterfly is often considered "an emblem of joy and beauty" and that the life cycle of the lovely insect is an analogy for the stages of the human spirit. Each animal is lavishly drawn and the illustrations provide a fitting accompaniment to the text. A stunning gift for the animal lover. 2001, HarperCollins, $16.95 and $16.89. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford<%ISBN%>0688163793
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-This lovely browsing book has wondrous art and just enough information to whet the appetite of fantasy fans. The work is divided into four sections-earth, air, water, and fire. Lavish, full-page color paintings of 16 real and imaginary animals, including a bear, a raven, a carp, and a dragon, are each accompanied by a facing page of text that briefly retells various legends and beliefs about the creature along with a smattering of fascinating facts. Gold borders around the pictures and the text enhance the presentation. The illustrations are the highlight of this offering.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Using "sacred" in a very broad sense, Waldherr (Harvest, not reviewed, etc.) pairs luxuriant, romanticized portraits of 16 creatures (three of which are mythical) with related folk lore from diverse cultures, paraphrased legends, and bits of natural history. The artist shows a weak sense of design: a triple image of Noah's Ark behind the Dove is likely to bewilder young viewers, and both art and text are placed within distractingly wide, elaborate frames throughout. And though, to judge from the list of sources, she has done some research, statements like, "Tales of the vampire, or nosferatu, were spread throughout Europe by Gypsies," or "The name ‘butterfly' is often applied to a person whose major occupation is the pursuit of pleasure," are simplistic at best. The pictures convey a dreamy world in which the natural and supernatural are not so far apart-but collections like Mayo's Mythical Birds and Beasts from Many Lands (1997) offer better-told stories and deeper insight. (Folklore. 9-12)
Book list
Using the elements of earth, air, water, and fire as organizational themes, this splendid book captures the rich diversity of animals as depicted in story, myth, and nature. . . . Glorious, illuminated color illustrations, with exquisite decorative borders are certain to engage browsers.
Booklist Magazine
Using the elements of earth, air, water, and fire as organizational themes, this splendid book captures the rich diversity of animals as depicted in story, myth, and nature. . . . Glorious, illuminated color illustrations, with exquisite decorative borders are certain to engage browsers.
Booklist - Booklist Magazine
Using the elements of earth, air, water, and fire as organizational themes, this splendid book captures the rich diversity of animals as depicted in story, myth, and nature. . . . Glorious, illuminated color illustrations, with exquisite decorative borders are certain to engage browsers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688163808
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/28/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
9.54(w) x 11.24(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
9 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Kris Waldherr is the award-winning author and illustrator of many books for adults and children. These include RAPUNZEL, DOOMED QUEENS, THE BOOK OF GODDESSES, and THE LOVER'S PATH, and THE FIREBIRD.

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