The Illustrated Book of Myths: Tales and Legends of the World

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Myths are the dreams of mankind, at once utterly strange and hauntingly familiar. They tell of beginnings and ends, creation and destruction, life and death...

This beautifully illustrated book gathers together many of the most popular myths from all over the world, including a selection of the great classical tales of Greece and Rome and myths from Norse, Celtic, Egyptian, Native American, Aboriginal, African, and Asian traditions. they are retold for readers of all ages in a ...

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Overview

Myths are the dreams of mankind, at once utterly strange and hauntingly familiar. They tell of beginnings and ends, creation and destruction, life and death...

This beautifully illustrated book gathers together many of the most popular myths from all over the world, including a selection of the great classical tales of Greece and Rome and myths from Norse, Celtic, Egyptian, Native American, Aboriginal, African, and Asian traditions. they are retold for readers of all ages in a vivid, accessible style by Neil Philip, an authority on mythology and folklore. The illustrations by Nilesh Mistry link the main episodes of each myth, involving readers in the action and atmosphere.

This exciting new approach also provides intriguing glimpses into the cultures from which these myths have sprung. Background information, accompanied by color photographs, explores the tales' historical, cultural, and geographical context. The stories are grouped together thematically — allowing readers to appreciate not only the difference, but also the uncanny similarities between many of the world's cultures.

The Illustrated Book of Myths brings together and illuminates timeless, universal stories, many of which form part of our literary heritage. Its special qualities make this collection both an important reference book for the whole family and a lasting source of inspiration and delight.

Author Biography: Neil Philip studied English at Oxford University before getting his Ph.D. in myth and folklore in children's books at Bedford College, London University. He has written a number of titles in the field of myth and folklore including for adults, The Cinderella Story, The Penguin EnglishFolktales, and The Penguin Scottish Folktales, and, for children, the Tale of Sir Gawain, Fairy Tales of Eastern Europe, The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault, and The Arabian Nights. Other publications include A Fine Anger, Between Earth and Sky, Victorian Village Life, and A New Treasury of Poetry. Nilesh Mistry was born in Bombay in 1966 and came to London in 1975. He completed his higher diploma in illustration at Harrow School of Art in 1988 and postgraduate studies at the Central St. Martin's School of Art in 1990.

A collection of myths from many cultures.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Philip has sifted through myths from numerous cultures-Inuit, Aborigine, Native American, Greek, Norse, African and Celtic, among others-skillfully winnowing them down to a representative selection arranged around such topics as "Fertility and Cultivation," "Creation" and "Visions of the End." Thoroughly researched, diverse and richly retold, it's a first-rate collection, showcased with DK's signature design style, featuring an attractive blend of photographs and full-color illustrations. A "Who's Who in Mythology" and an index make this a one-stop volume for those desiring an overview of world mythology. Ages 8-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Myth comes from the Greek word muthos, meaning a fable or a word. This collections of tales and legends comes from a variety of cultures around the world-Greek and Roman, Norse, Celtic, Egyptian, Native American, Aboriginal, African, and Asian. As with other DK books there are insets and sidebars that provide glimpses into the culture explaining unfamiliar terms, objects, artifacts, and locales that relate to each tale. The central themes of the stories recur in a variety of disparate cultures. A point that author, Uma Krishnaswami makes with her retellings of flood stories. Divided into categories such as Creation, Beginnings, Fertility and Civilization, Gods and People, Gods and Animals, Visions of the End, it all ends with a Who's Who and an index.
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
This would be a marvelous addition to the home or school collection for elementary or middle school age children. It is rich with colorful illustrations of all types and sizes. Some portray the action of the myths; others speak to the culture, wildlife, or landscape of the areas where the tales originated. Divided into categories such as: Creation, Beginnings, Fertility & Cultivation, Gods and People, Gods and Animals, Visions of the End, Gods and Pantheons, each of the more than 60 myths is identified by its title, type, and origin. Each myth is approximately 2 pages in length, perfect for a short story reading time. The Gods and Pantheons section is a "Who's Who in Mythology." yielding a useful resource for tying together and reviewing the information in this book. Egypt, Greece, Native American, Celtic, Chinese, Iranian, Norse, Roman, African, and other myths are represented. Index.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This collection represents a wide variety of world cultures and stories. Selections are grouped by type (creation myths, fertility and cultivation, visions of the end), which helps readers understand the commonality of the tales. The standard Greek and Norse myths are here, but what makes this volume special is its inclusion of less frequently anthologized stories of the Aztecs, Haitians, Africans, and Japanese, to name a few. Native American myths are here as well. The writing is clear, but not as dramatic as the stories deserve. Unique features of the book are the small, full-color photographs and drawings of related geography, flora, fauna, and artifacts that accompany each entry and create concrete images for abstract topics. In addition, Mistry's small illustrations for each myth colorfully feature and label its characters. The Who's Who in Mythology section defines most of the characters mentioned and includes pronunciations. Students will find a broader variety of information in the Facts on File Encyclopedia of World Mythology & Legend (1988), though that title is less accessible to younger readers. Goddesses, Heroes and Shamans (Kingfisher, 1994) is not as well done as Philip's volume, but is similar in style and format.-Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day School Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI
Julie Corsaro
Philip, an eminent anthologist, begins this far-reaching and ambitious collection of oral traditions and folklore from around the globe with an excellent introduction to mythology. He uses classical cultural categories--creation, destruction, fertility, and the gods' relationships with humans and animals--to draw connections between the diverse traditions of five continents. Ananse, Beowulf, Odin, King Midas, Glooskap, Maui, Gilgamesh, and Quetzatcoatl are among the better-known players, but some of the retellings are as dense as they are graceful. Similar in appearance to Selena Hastings' "The Children's Illustrated Bible" (1994), also published by Dorling Kindersley, the book has a complex design that includes softly colored paintings interwoven with the text. The sidebar photographs and captions that place the stories in their historical, geographic, and cultural contexts will be a boon to interdisciplinary studies. On the whole, the collection may encourage comparative reading, and the charts of the Greek and Norse pantheons should satisfy a common request of report writers. All in all, a rich, handsome resource.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789402028
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.26 (h) x 0.65 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2003

    Fanciful retelling of Ganesh story

    The story of Ganesh, the Hindu God with an elephant head is fanciful and does not correspond to the Hindu Puranas, from which it originates. Otherwise an entertaining book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2002

    Fun & Informative

    This is a great book to establish yourself with. While it may not go into the veriest depth on the subject, it gives you an informed retelling of many myths and legends from all over the world. It also gives many interesting facts on the side that relate to the story or country it came from.

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