In myths known throughout the world, the Green Man, or his close kin, presides over nature. In poems and folktales and masterworks such as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, this elemental spirit dwells in the deepest and most mythic part of the forest, casting its spell on all intruders. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have assembled an anthology of short stories and poems that celebrate this looming yet protective natural presence.
The fifteen short stories and three poems in this absorbing collection explore the magic of the forest. Some tales draw on traditional material, but others depart from familiar depictions of the woods. One story finds a teenager in Central Park matching wits with a modern fairy in green leather and dreadlocks, while another features a teen who leaves a wild party to encounter powerful desert forces in Joshua Tree National Park. Notes about the well-known and lesser-known contributors will guide voracious readers to further fantasy reading. —Kathleen Odean
Michael Cadnum, Jane Yolen, Patricia A. McKillip and 15 others interpret an enduring legend through short stories and poetry in The Green Man: Tales From the Mythic Forest, ed. by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, illus. by Charles Vess. Brief biographies accompany the work of each author. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
There truly is magic in a forest. Leaves whisper half-understood messages while unimaginable creatures scuttle in the shadows. One wanders amid fairy rings and sacred groves, almost expecting at any moment to see Bottom and Titania, Bilbo Baggins, or the three great roots of Yggdrasil. One peers, wondering and fearful, into the trees. Is that a green foliage-bedecked face staring back? Under various names—the Green Man, Jack of the Green, Loup Vert, Pfingstl—this spirit and protector of the forest has fascinated and mystified for centuries. Acknowledging that obsession, the acclaimed duo of anthologists has asked eighteen of the best fantasy authors for a tale "from the mythic forest." With contributors such as Neil Gaiman, Jane Yolen, Charles de Lint, Tanith Lee, and Patricia McKillup, this collection of fifteen stories and three poems cannot miss. The authors introduce readers not only to the Green Man himself, but also to Herne the Hunter, a street-smart fairy, wolves, dryads, and a jolly green giant. A superb historical and bibliographical essay, About the Green Man and Other Forest Lore by Windling will send fantasy lovers to their libraries clamoring for the additional titles she recommends. Charles Vess, founder of Green Man Press, is responsible for the evocative cover art. His illustration of a pair of hypnotic green eyes above a winding forest path will lure readers to join these outstanding writers on their journey deep into the woods. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult).2002, Viking/Penguin Putnam, 390p, Hansen
Gr 8-Up The image of the "Green Man" is an ancient one as the introduction to this collection makes clear. From the old tales to Tolkien to Susan Cooper's Green Boy (McElderry, 2002), the awakening of nature has fueled many a gripping tale. The 15 stories and 3 poems were written for this book by such diverse authors as Patricia McKillip, Michael Cadnum, and Midori Snyder. Mature themes and an often sophisticated view of the world and how one survives in it characterize many of these selections. The mood is sometimes playful, as in Gregory Maguire's "Fee, Fie, Foe, et Cetera," or mystical as in the Native American story by Carolyn Dunn. No matter what the ambience or the plot underlying each selection, there is a real sense of how powerful nature can be in its various guises. Most readers will skip the introduction and head straight for the stories, but will be rewarded by reading it afterward. Each selection includes a biographical sketch and comments from the author. -Amy Kellman, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The spirit of the forest is celebrated in stories and poems by 18 well-known authors and talented newcomers, in another fine fantasy collection by Datlow and Windling (A Wolf at the Door, 2000, etc.). The leafy incarnation of the title appears in various guises in most of the stories; sometimes mischievous or vengeful, for the most part he brings healing and renewal, often to troubled contemporary adolescents. Others take a sideways slant on nature magic: Jane Yolen ("Song of the Cailleach Bheur") invokes a dangerous Scottish winter fairy; Carolyn Dunn ("Ali anugne o chash") reworks an eerie Choctaw legend of the river panther; and Kathe Koja ("Remnants") balances recycling on the fine line that slices between madness and genius. Tree-women also have their say, both in ancient Greece (Michael Cadnum's "Daphne") and in modern New York City (Delia Sherman's "Grand Central Park"). On the lighter side, Gregory Maguire ("Fee, Fie, Foe, et Cetera") wonders what Jack's family was up to while Jack explored that beanstalk; M. Shayne Bell ("The Pagodas of Ciboure") examines the intersection between musicological history and obscure French legend; and Katherine Vaz ("A World Painted by Birds") ventures into magical realism with a lyrical fairytale of political revolution. Overall, the tone is dreamlike and meditative, like a drowsy afternoon in the woods. Best taken in small doses, this collection is a treasure trove for teens and teachers exploring themes of ecology and folklore. Illustrations by noted fantasy artist Charles Vess not seen. (introduction, author notes and biographies) (Short stories. 12+)