Review Blog

May 01 2012

Greek myths by Ann Turnbull

cover image

Ill. by Sarah Young. Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 9781 4063 3938 3.
(Ages: 9+) Warmly recommended. Greek mythology. A new retelling of the Greek myth is always something to feast upon, and this is no exception. Retold by children's writer, Ann Turnbull, the stories are given a tantalising air of promise and daring in her hands, leading the reader into the familiar stories retold with verve and excitement. The accompanying illustrations by Sarah Young are beautiful adjuncts to the stories, the styised faces and backgrounds adding to thee bold words.
So we have the story of Persephone being kidnapped by Hades and tricked into eating, so forcing her to stay with him in the underworld. But her mother begs the Gods for help, and so Persephone returns each year, bringing spring and summer to the world, while her descent into Hades each year, brings the drear of autumn and winter.
Divided into three sections, Earth, the heavens and the underworld: Monsters and heroes: Gods and mortals, each section brings to light some well known stories, Persephone, The Minotaur, Atalanta and Midas, amongst others, while revealing several lesser known (at least to me) Bellerophon, Kalydonian boar hunt and and a slightly different take on Pandora. All are enticing, the combination of the words and illustrations forcing the reader to curl up in a corner and just read, revelling in the stories thousands of years old, seeing with new eyes some of the links to other myths and legends heard long ago but only vaguely recalled.
Fran Knight

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