Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Let's Go, Pegasus!

Let's Go, Pegasus! retold and illustrated by Jean Marzollo, 2006

Jean Marzollo (of I Spy fame and more) has started a new series of books about the Greek myths. This is the second one. The first was Little Bear, You're a Star!: A Greek Myth About the Constellations, 2005 and a third, Pandora's Box, is due in September 2006.

With Percy Jackson rocking the house, I cannot think of a better time for a new series of mythology books. I know kids who are flocking to the internet to look up Greek gods and goddesses as they read the Riordan's books. Gifted and Talented kids are also often drawn to mythology as a subject.

The narrative is written in clear language while dialog is set in an easy-to-read font that runs in slightly curved lines above the speaker. A narrow banner of owls as a Greek chorus, runs along the bottom of each page. The chorus addresses the reader with comments and questions about the story along the way. Marzollo instructs us to read the chorus last, before turning the page.

Watercolor illustrations with dynamic inked outlines carry the reader (or listener) through the tale. Marzolla has kept all the important elements of the original story yet it is accessible to many levels of readers.

Perseus must save his mother, Danae from marriage with the king. The king, suspecting this kid might be trouble, sends Perseus off to kill the monster, Medusa.

Luckily, Athena and Hermes are around to lend equipment, help and advice. I did not know the origins of Pegasus so the ending was fun for me.

I am looking forward to seeing more of this series. Bravo!
I'm also thinking Percy Jackson and Pegasus are going to get together at some point.

The Marzollo series will be an excellent addition to the classic (and favorite at this house) D'Aulaires book of Greek Myths by Ingri D'Aulaire and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire,1962. You will recognize this book in any library by its worn cover and pages softened from many, many turnings.

Jean Marzollo's website

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