Demeter, the Greek goddess of fertility, finds that Pluto has taken her daughter Persephone to the land of the dead as his queen. She wanders the earth cursing the ground; thus winter comes, and with it famine. Zeus orders the bride returned to her mother, but she must live with Pluto four months of the year. Thus the cycle of seasons begins, when each spring Persephone comes back to her mother. The text relies on a familiarity with mythology, although a note at the beginning clears up ambiguities for those new to the story. A powerful myth, here it istold in a passive, reportorial style that lacks emotion. Nevertheless, the authors' embroidery and applique technique gives the story a richly textured look and unusual dimension. Ages 5-8. (March)
PreS-Gr 2 A concise retelling of the myth of the abduction of Persephone by Pluto (here an utterly unsympathetic figure), the grief of Demeter, and the eventual compromise allowing Persephone to pass part of her time above the earth and part belowthus ``explaining'' the seasons. The artwork appears conventional: only a close inspection reveals that the medium is textiles and stitchery. There are many allusions to Greek design, but the static tendencies of a frieze-like layout are counterbalanced by dramatic moments (especially by Pluto's fiery horses). A smooth text and slightly unusual pictures make this a good myth for the youngest: for a slightly older audience, try Demeter and Persephone : the Seasons of Time (Troll, 1983), one of an excellent series of retellings of Greek myth and legend.Patricia Dooley, formerly at Drexel University, Phila .