Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters

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Overview

The new National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology offers timeless stories of Greek myths in a beautiful new volume. Brought to life with lyrical text by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli and stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Christina Balit, the tales of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Athena and heroes and monsters such as Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Medusa will fascinate and engage ...
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Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters

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Overview

The new National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology offers timeless stories of Greek myths in a beautiful new volume. Brought to life with lyrical text by award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli and stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Christina Balit, the tales of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Athena and heroes and monsters such as Helen of Troy, Perseus, and Medusa will fascinate and engage children’s imaginations.
 
National Geographic completes the book with embellishments of each story: sidebars for each god, goddess, hero, and monster link the myths to constellations, geography, history, and culture to help young readers connect the stories to real life events, people, and places. A family tree and a “cast of characters” profile page help make relationships between the characters clear, and a mapping feature adds to the fun and fascination. Resource notes and ample back matter directing readers to more information round out this luminous book. Sure to dazzle all those intrigued with the fantastic tales of Greek mythology and enchant new readers, this vibrant book will soon become a family keepsake.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Produced under the auspices of the National Geographic Society, this treasury of Greek mythology contains versions of classical stories that the entire family can enjoy. This hardcover also contains sidebars for each story and a family tree and "cast of characters" profile page.

Publishers Weekly
Napoli brings new life to the familiar stories of Greek mythology in this intimate compilation, telling each tale with grace, clarity, and emotion. When Demeter mourns her missing daughter, “Her cheeks grew hollow, her body gaunt. Greens turned brown.... Hunger twisted the innards of every living creature.” Through the brief but vivid retellings, readers will better understand such figures as Apollo, Ares, Dionysus, and Helen, while sidebars contextualize the stories. Balit’s majestic and sinuous spreads mimic the drama and passion of the legends. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Denise Hartzler
In Donna Jo Napoli's book, Treasury of Greek Mythology, she introduces readers into a world a little more colorful and fearful than theirs but not entirely foreign. This book is filled with stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, Monsters, revenge, love, hate, trickery and so much more. As readers and listeners journey into the world of Classical Greek Mythology they might just find answers from the ancient Greeks that many of us long to understand or they might find themselves questioning something entirely new. Accompanied by vibrant illustrations that demand your attention, Napoli includes maps to help readers place the stories into geographical context; a family tree and a characters profile page help map the relationships; and additional sidebars link the myths to constellations, geography, history, culture and real life events, people and places. This book is a great steppingstone for young readers. Each mythical story builds upon the next and soon readers will understand where idioms like "Pandora's box" and "Achilles' heel" come from. Napoli did an effective job at keeping the stories short and understandable. All these elements lend itself to an educated introduction to Greek Mythology and highly recommended for use by parents and in classrooms. If it weren't for books of this quality, Greek Mythology will remain unintelligible.
Kirkus Reviews

Oft-told tales retold with uncommon verve and outfitted with resplendent Art Deco–style portraits.

Napoli opens with the rise of the "mother force" Gaia to bring order to the whirling elements of Chaos and closes with the devastation of the Trojan War ("the doing of gods with too much time on their hands"). In between, she introduces over two dozen immortals and heroes—including Hestia, Helios and Selene among the better-known Olympians and their mortal offspring. While somehow managing to keep all the sex inexplicit (Aphrodite is born, for instance, from the "foam" produced by an unspecified body part ripped from her father Uranus), she lays out clear family lines. She pays close attention to her narrative's tone and sound, capturing the nature of each god or mortal with vivid turns of phrase: Peaceable Hestia considers Zeus a "frightful maniac," Orion grows up to become "an insufferably pompous nitwit" and Selene is left to pine, "silver sweet, and soft, and sad," for her eternally sleeping lover, Endymion. Applying rippling strokes of intense color, Balit opens with a shimmering family tree of Olympians, heads each chapter with a stylized full-body image of a mythological figure with associated emblems and symbols and also contributes interior illustrations and thumbnail portraits for the closing summary cast list.

Superb versions for reading alone or for sharing with audiences large or small. (source note, lists of recommended print and Web resources) (Mythology. 10-14)

Pamela Paul
[Napoli's] expertise comes through here in the language, which is clear and straightforward, but also eloquent and richly textured…Christina Balit's jewel-toned paintings at once illuminate and unify the collection with vibrant full-page illustrations, spot art and decorative borders in a glittery, starred motif…This is a book meant to dazzle its readers—and it does.
—The New York Times
From the Publisher
"This is the kind of rich but accessible reference work school librarians love. It’s  also likely to stimulate fact-obsessed Percy Jackson fans as well as children who have been ordered to research their school papers offline....This is a book meant to dazzle its readers — and it does."   New York Times online

Kirkus Starred Review
School Library Journal Starred Review

School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—Wise, witty, and thoroughly entrancing, this august collection is ideal for those who want more from their mythology. Beginning with the beginning ("Gaia: Mother Earth" and "Uranus: Father Heaven"), Napoli presents 25 tales introducing the major players of the Greek pantheon along with an assortment of celebrated heroes and mortals (including Perseus, Heracles, Jason, and Helen). At once eloquent and elemental, these lyrically written portraits deftly detail each character's origins, realm of power, and legendary story lines. Filled with sensual imagery, the language is poetic, yet balanced by amusing asides and wry observations that add a contemporary, almost conversational accessibility. The accounts gloriously regale the familiar adventures of these deities and champions, while imbuing them with personality. For example, Hades, "spitting mad" at being confined in Cronus's belly, bursts out ready and willing to take on the Titans: "roaring into war beside his siblings felt natural—like butter on a burn—it felt fat and rich and right." Again and again, Napoli encourages readers to trawl these tales for greater truths: Theseus is portrayed not only as a monster-slaying hero, but also as a man who gradually gains the wisdom needed to become a just ruler. Stunning stylized paintings featuring luminous colors, rich patterns, and star-infused motifs add depth and drama to the text. Full-spread images introduce the characters, incorporating their iconic symbols and details of their dominions, while smaller insets provide glimpses of the action. Interesting sidebars appear throughout, providing historical, scientific, and cultural information. A must-have for most collections.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426308444
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 23,024
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 12.02 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna Jo Napoli is both a linguist and a writer of children's fiction. She received her BA in mathematics in 1970 and her Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures in 1973, both from Harvard University, then did a postdoctoral year in Linguistics at MIT. She is an award-winning author of poetry, novels, and short stories for children. A few of her award-winning children's books include Stones in Water winner of the Golden Kite Award and the Sydney Taylor Award,Alligator Bayou a Parents' Choice Gold book for historical fiction, Daughter of Venice Nevada Young Readers' Award, Albert Kentucky Bluegrass Award, and Mama Miti Anne Izard's Storytellers' Choice Award and the Bock Book Award. Donna Jo lives outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Christina Balit has illustrated a number of children's books, including Atlantis and Escape from Pompeii. Before becoming a prize-winning illustrator, Ms. Balit studied at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. She lives in Kent, England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    highly recommended

    my 8 yr old grandson picks this book up at least 2x a week

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Classically Beautiful

    Classic information in a truly beautifully illustrated book. As an English teacher, I was impressed with this tome. As a 12-year-old, my granddaughter found this to be one of her favorite Christmas presents...foregoing her new electronic games in favor of reading this book. She hasn't yet studied mythology in school, but is now eager for it!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Beautiful. I always thought mythology was interesting as a kid,

    Beautiful. I always thought mythology was interesting as a kid, and even now as an adult. I got this to read to my kids at bed time and they love it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2013

    Elegant

    Beautifully illustrated and well written for adults. However, it's a little too dense and difficult for a 5th grade child (for whom I had bought the book).

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2014

    Solid book on mythology

    It even has a smidgen of comparative religion...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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