As he did in Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Maya, Leonard Everett Fisher continues to explore mythology in Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Norse. Set against bold portraits, informative passages explain each of the 14 deity's place in the pantheon. Endpapers contain a map, bibliography, pronunciation guide and a Norse gods family tree. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
The ancient Norse gods and goddesses are less well known than the Greek and Roman, but they are a part of our heritage, appear in music and literature and have exciting stories to tell. Fisher concisely fills in the stories of fourteen of these characters on a two-page spread for each. The painted action portraits are done in the artist's typical dramatic style. Forms are boldly blocked and made to appear even more solid by the use of white to highlight the intensely colored shapes and shadows, emphasizing the heroic qualities of the characters. There is a map, a bibliography, a family tree and a pronunciation guide. 2001, Holiday House, $16.95. Ages 7 to 11. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz AGES: 7 8 9 10 11
Gr 2-4-Norse mythology-with its full-bodied mixture of lyricism and violence-is too often overlooked in collections for children. Fisher makes it accessible to this audience without forfeiting its complexity and drama. Using a fairly large format, he effectively blends full-page illustrations with a clearly written text to present snapshots of 15 gods and goddesses. Some may be familiar to young readers (Thor and Loki), but most will not. The art is highly stylized and appears to be done in either gouache or acrylics. Employing dynamic color combinations that are most often used in poster art, Fisher creates richly textured paintings that convey both the harshness (Loki being punished by dripping snake venom) and gracefulness (Heimdall guarding the rainbow bridge) of Norse mythology. The book includes a much-needed pronunciation guide, an introduction, a double-page visual of the organization of the Norse mythological world, and a Norse family tree. Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire's book D'Aulaires' Norse Gods and Giants (Doubleday, 1967) is mentioned in Fisher's bibliography and is a longer and more thorough survey for this same age group. Overall, Fisher's introduction may get kids excited about this culture's mythology.-Denise Anton Wright, Alliance Library System, Bloomington, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Fisher (Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Maya, 1999, etc.) looks to Scandinavia for his latest gallery of the gods, presenting somber portraits of Odin, Thor, and a dozen of their associates paired to tossed-off bits of information about each. Despite some arresting images-one-eyed Odin glowering up from the front cover, for instance, or Loki, chained for his misdeeds, writhing in agony as a snake drips venom onto his face-overall the art is unusually static even for Fisher, who either poses his figures making melodramatic but obscure gestures, or just has them stand around looking off into the distance. The writing too is inconsistent; readers learn the name of Heimdall's trumpet but not Thor's hammer, are left in the dark about what Niffleheim is, and get either fragments of tales, or vague comments like "[Odin] allowed his body to be hurt to learn the mysterious writings called �runes'." A schematic map and family tree help, but this is a weak link in the series. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)