Z Is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Alphabets Series)by Helen L. Wilbur, Victor Juhasz (Illustrator)
Whose face launched a thousand ships? Who dropped an apple to win a race? What creature has the head of a woman, the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle, and always wakes up on the wrong side of the bed? The Oracle knows and so will young readers after they encounter the strange creatures, exotic gods, and exciting stories in Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet. Human endeavors are often at odds with the whims and the will and the ways of the gods. Although they're up in Olympus without any cares, they just can't stop meddling in human affairs. Helen Wilbur, who wrote the lively M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet, brings the same wit and wisdom to explaining Greek mythology. Colorful, entertaining artwork from Victor Juhasz, the illustrator behind D is for Democracy and R is for Rhyme, keeps pace with the lively subject matter.Former librarian Helen L. Wilbur has been enchanted with Greek mythology all her life. She has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in library science from Columbia University. Helen also authored M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet. She lives in New York City. Victor Juhasz's clients include TIME, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Warner Books. He also illustrated D is for Democracy: A Citizen's Alphabet; R is for Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet; Everyone Counts: A Citizen's Number Book; and H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet. He lives in the New York Berkshires region.
In the typical series style, Greek mythology is explored. Each letter is featured in a rhymed verse, some more successful than others. On sidebars, the concept or story is explored further, making the book suitable for children seeking additional information on the subject. While mainly focused on myths, the text also delves into lifestyles and history. Some readers may be confused as to the difference between actual Greek history and mythology, yet there is still an abundance of detail held within these pages; the "Glossary of Gods" does help in sorting out the characters. Coupled with the advanced text, the humorous and sometimes bawdy watercolor cartoons put this into the older age range, though the picture-book format may be off-putting for this audience. A mixed bag for larger collections.-Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
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