The Children's Dictionary of Mythology

The Children's Dictionary of Mythology

5.0 1
by David Adams Leeming
     
 

Why is there winter and summer? Where does fire come from? What makes the thunder rumble in the sky? Who causes night to fall? How did diseases start? When was the world created? Will it ever end?

People have always sought answers to questions like these. They have told stories that explain what they think happened in the past and why the world is the way it is.

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Overview

Why is there winter and summer? Where does fire come from? What makes the thunder rumble in the sky? Who causes night to fall? How did diseases start? When was the world created? Will it ever end?

People have always sought answers to questions like these. They have told stories that explain what they think happened in the past and why the world is the way it is.

Every society in the world has stories like these. Many of them are about goddesses, gods, and other supernatural beings. Many tell about the origins of a group of people. And many of these stories, told and retold for as long as anyone can remember, are what we call myths.

The Children's Dictionary of Mythology introduces the characters, sources, and stories central to many cultures of the world. It allows young readers to see how different people have responded to the world around them through the stories they told. It encourages cross-cultural comparisons and understanding.

In more than 300 entries, this book presents: Scores of mythological traditions: Japanese, African, Greek, Native American, Norse,...; Deities and characters: Spider Woman, Achilles, Phan Ku, Merlin, Dido, Thor, Apollo,...; Themes of mythology: Quest, Flood, Creation, Fertility, Afterlife,...; Recurring places in mythology: Underworld, Labyrinth, City,...; Sources of mythological narratives: Iliad, Ramayana, Enuma Elish, Gilgamesh, Beowulf,...; Mythological events: Cattle Raid of Cooley, Djanggawul's Dreaming Creation, Jason and the Golden Fleece,...

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Since people have always sought answers to explain natural phenomena and to understand why they exist, it is natural that stories would evolve. An assemblage of stories from a given culture is refereed to as a mythology. Interestingly, many of the stories from disparate cultures contain similar elements, so it is always useful to have a reference or dictionary, especially when trying to understand the cast of characters in myths and their relationships. Lemming does the job with his new book. In addition to the 300 alphabetical entries that have cross-references, major stories are summarized in highlighted boxes. Kids will begin to recognize themes and similarities among deities. There are plenty of illustrations representing a variety of myths, although Greek and Roman mythologies seem to dominate. There is an extensive bibliography, pronunciation guide and index. 1999, Franklin Watts, Ages 7 to 12, $32.00. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Library Journal
Gr 4-7-A basic introduction to world mythology through characters, stories, and motifs from many cultures. Though Greek, Roman, and Norse myths appear throughout, Leeming has made a definite effort to cover lesser-known tales, such as those from various Native American tribes, Asia, India, Ireland, Wales, and Australia. Entries are arranged alphabetically, usually consisting of no more than several paragraphs, although some stories receive longer sidebars. The author defines his subject broadly ("A mythology reflects a given society's view of itself"), which may explain why many items that are not traditionally considered mythology have been incorporated. For example, the legend of King Arthur is given its own sidebar, and many folktales are also considered. The author even makes an attempt to include Judeo-Christian myths, but is far from consistent in doing so (the story of Adam and Eve appears several times, yet no mention of Christianity is made in the entry of "Rebirth and Resurrection"). A solid index, a pronunciation guide, and a bibliography arranged by culture will help readers considerably. Full-color and black-and-white reproductions and photographs of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts illustrate the dictionary. One problem with this book is in the title: the writing may be too sophisticated for some elementary students, but older readers will certainly shy away when they see the word "Children's." This is a shame, as the scope of this eye-catching volume makes it a sure asset for those ever-present reports on this topic.-Kathleen M. Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, Eldersburg, MD Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780531117088
Publisher:
Scholastic Library Publishing
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Series:
Children's Dictionaries Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
8.31(w) x 10.29(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range:
7 - 11 Years

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The Children's Dictionary of Mythology 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great for just reading or for research. I give it 5 stars.