Book Description

From School Library Journal Grade 2-5-Lattimore's retelling of the story of the beautiful mortal who engaged Poseidon's passions but enraged Athena's jealousy is faithful to Olivia Coolidge's version in Greek Myths (Houghton, 1949). Large print and simple sentence structures and word choices make the text accessible to young readers. The sexual aspects of the story are omitted and the gruesome parts softened, rendering it suitable for children. Unfortunately, Perseus is a weaker hero, Medusa is a less scary monster, and all of the figures are milder shadows of themselves. Nonetheless, the plot moves quickly. The formal language and the ornate illustrations suit the myth, giving it stateliness. The deep-hued colors and rich textures on the cover will attract readership, but not every page is illustrated with the same detail. The gods and goddesses lack the spark and fire of the old tales. They look dead and ghostlike, dully characterized in dismal hues of gray. Noted for her brilliant work in Frida Maria (1994), Lattimore utilizes a style here that is similar to her work in Zekmet, the Stone Carver (1988, both Harcourt).Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more From Booklist The Grecian maiden looks like Barbie and the storytelling is dull in this version of the Medusa myth. The narrative starts off with an account of Medusa as a proud blond beauty, transformed by jealous Athena into a snake-headed monster, so ugly that those who look at her turn to stone. Then the story switches to Perseus, who must behead Medusa and save his mother. What will hold kids are the stand-offs between people and gods ('you bragging daughter of a mud toad') as well as the lush paintings of the gorgon with her swirling head of snakes. The paintings make you see that the blond beauty's springy curls could become swirling snakes, just as the monster-woman's head is like a gorgeously colored mosaic, wild and terrifying. Hazel RochmanCopyright ? American Library Association. All rights reserved Read more See all Editorial Reviews