Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
Having just reread the original, I was delighted to find this wonderful picture book version of one of the best adventure stories ever told. The concise, easy to read text is accompanied by spectacular color drawings. Readers of all ages will revel in the descriptions of the numerous obstacles Odysseus must overcome on his journey home from the Trojan War. From the Lotus Eaters to the Cyclops to the Sirens and the suitors back at Ithaca, Odysseus' story comes alive in this fantastic book.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-6This handsome volume brings to life the adventures of the ancient traveler. Philip reworks and rearranges the episodes into a logical flow, which may upset some purists, but he keeps the language, similes, and metaphors very close to a good translation of Homer's original Odyssey. Beginning with the visit to the land of the Lotus Eaters, readers follow Odysseus as he leaves war-torn Troy for home. He and his men travel to the country of the Cyclops, to Circe's home, to Hades and past the Sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis, and to the home of Nausicaa, before finally landing in Ithaca. The cast of characters is complete, with the divine intervention of Zeus, Athena, and Poseidon well portrayed. An illustrated chart introduces the mortals and immortals featured in this enchanting story. The book does not pretend to be a complete retelling of the Odyssey; but, as the title suggests, it does an excellent job of bringing the hero to light. Malone's delicately detailed paintings complement the text and bring the blues of the Aegean Sea to mind. The figures resemble those found on Greek vases, and several stunning double-page spreads invite readers into the world of myth. A map of Odysseus's travels is also included. For an introduction to this classic tale, Philip's version far outshines the older editions; in groups or individually, students will be well served by this easy-to-read retelling.Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR
Philip (American Fairy Tales, 1996, etc.) competently retells the famous Greek story of Odysseus's ten-year journey home from the Trojan War, beset by the wrath of Poseidon, various monsters, witches, and his own pride. Some changes have been made, e.g., the fleet is destroyed in a storm, not by the cannibalistic Laestrygonians, who are absent from this version. On the other hand, the Cyclops' killing and eating of several of Odysseus's men is described graphically enough to sate elementary-school bloodlust. What sets the book apart from the competition are the vivid, glowing illustrations. Malone uses stylized figures in archaic poses that seem to have been adapted from Greek vases; he employs brilliant colors and skewed perspectives to dramatic effect. With a beautiful map of the voyage and an illustrated guide to the principal characters, an already grand story has become a sumptuous visual feast.