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Monday, September 19, 2011

Courage Book Review - treasures from Geraldine McCaughrean

The Golden Hoard: Myths and Legends of the WorldWe rank Geraldine McCaughrean among today's most resourceful and exciting retellers of myths and legends from around the world.  Her vivid writing style makes her treasuries of stories gripping, funny, provocative, fascinating and beautiful.   In these books - The Golden Hoard: Myths and Legends of the World, The Silver Treasure: Myths and Legends of the World, The Bronze Cauldron Myths And Legends Of The World, and The CRYSTAL POOL: MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF THE WORLD -we have a dazzling variety of traditional tales, all gloriously illustrated by Bee Willey.  There are creation stories and trickster tales and stories of how stories came to be.  Above all, there are hero stories.  These stories of quests and courage show us how people from around the world told their tales highlighting all six types of courage.  Many of them may well be familiar favorites already, or at least ring some bells: St. George and the Dragon, Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow, Midas and the Golden Touch, the Golem, the Tower of Babel, William Tell, the Pied Piper and many others that readers may already recognize.  But there are also tales from cultures whose stories were once considered "quaint" or "curious" by Western readers.  Legends and folktales from New Zealand,  Melanesia, Bolivia, Finland, Togo and many many other places show us what is the same, and what is different, about how cultures portray courage.   I particularly liked the Hittite myth of the goddess Inaras conquering a family of dragons by feeding them until they were too fat to get back into their underground lairs.  As the old saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one way to conquer dragons.  These collections show us that in dazzling, delightful detail.   Great for reading aloud or handing to an independent reader. 


The CRYSTAL POOL: MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF THE WORLD (Illustrated Stories for Children)
The Bronze Cauldron Myths And Legends Of The WorldThe Silver Treasure: Myths and Legends of the World

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