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The Illustrated Book of Myths : Tales and Legends of the World (Anglais)
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Myths, these narratives, involving supernatural or fantasy people, embody admired ideas on expected or social phenomena. In this selection, we are given glimpses into the culture from which the myth originated.
Background information, color photographs, geographical context and the illustrations by Nilesh Mistry make this a compelling read. The most popular myths from all over the world are included and are retold by Neil Philip who is an authority on mythology and folklore. The stories are grouped together so you can see not only the variations in the same type of story, but also see the similarities between cultures.
The myths are divided up into: Creation Myths, Beginnings, Fertility and Cultivation, Gods and People, Gods and Animals, Visions of The End and a special section about who is who in mythology called: Gods and Pantheons.
The myths are: Egyptian, Serbian, Norse, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Native American, Siberian, Sumerian, Indonesia, Sumerian, Finnish, Greek, Norse, Polynesian, West African, East African, Celtic, Hittite, Indian, Anglo-Saxon, Welsh, Haitian, Roman, Aztec, Irish, Inuit.
While the Greek story of Midas and the Golden touch is very familiar, the Japanese story of Benten and the Serpent King was completely new to me. More familiar tales include: Gilgamesh, The Great Flood, The Tree of Life, The Sword in the Stone, The Holy Grail, Beowulf and The Fall of Icarus.
You will enjoy reading the retellings that evoke a feeling of the original tales, and seeing the amazing full-color illustrations and color photographs that breathe new life into these delightful stories.
A Celebration of our Infinite Imaginations.
~The Rebecca Review
There is one glaring omission, though, and that is the inclusion of any Judeo-Christian or Muslim myths. Only one myth refers to Buddha. If a few of these more recent myths were included where relevant, the Illustrated Book of Myths would be a five!
Here kids can learn about the myths that dominated for centuries, from China and Japan to ancient Greece, Sumeria and Iran (where Zoroastrians worshiped the wise lord Ahura Mazda, whose first fire-priest Gayomart tended his sign---a flame). "All men are born good," the myth recounts," "and the earth is happiest where one of the faithful is standing...and sows corn," spreading the words of Ahura Mazda, who decreed that all men and women are free to choose for themselves between good and evil.
This book is truly a smorgasbord of ancient mythical delights, and parents who want to educate and satisfy their children could hardly find a better place to look. A fabulous find, especially for independent, middle school readers.