Reviews for Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 March 2004
This well-received and accessible book for young adults has been updated. It is part of an expanded Mythology A to Z series that also includes volumes on Egyptian(2000), Japanese (2003), and Norse mythology (2003). Other volumes will cover African, Celtic, Chinese, Native American, and South and Meso-American mythologies. Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z has more than 500 alphabetically arranged entries, ranging in length from a paragraph to several pages. Of these, more than 60 are new, and many others have been expanded. It features occasional black-and-white illustrations--some full page--a detailed index, and extensive cross-referencing. There is also a bibliography of mainly adult-level books published the past several decades. Not as visually enticing as the DK Illustrated Dictionary of Mythology: Heroes, Heroines, Gods, and Goddesses from around the World (DK, 1998), and featuring dictionary-type articles as opposed to retellings of legends or sagas, this nevertheless serves as a solid, reliable starting point for student research. Mythology remains a curriculum mainstay and a topic of perennial student interest. Collections that purchased the earlier version have probably noticed considerable wear and tear and will want to update. Other libraries that serve students in grades 4 through 10 should seriously consider the titles in this basic reference set. ((Reviewed March 1, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 April
Gr 9 Up-Daly's volumes are newly updated with additional entries and new illustrations; the addition of Japanese myths to the series is welcome. Both Greek & Roman and Norse include places, practices, some rituals, objects, and myth sources. Daly is discreet: Cronus is "mutilated," Daphne "pursued." Stories of Jason, Odysseus, Balder, Loki, and lesser-known figures such as Melampus, Otr, and Starkad are briefly retold. Roberts's volume is a concise cultural introduction to Japan: the author explains kana, emaki, calligraphy styles, important historical figures, and periods (inexplicably, Tokugawa Ieyasu has no entry). Again, entire tales are told. Tiny errors-the underworld, Yomi, is confusingly called Youl and Yous, and the description of tanka under waka is incorrect-do not detract from an excellent introduction to Japanese mythology and its culture. Roberts deserves credit for including the sensitive Horse Rider Theory and connecting ancient history and archaeological finds to myths. None of the volumes have genealogical tables, and Greek & Roman and Norse lack the pronunciation help that is so useful in Japanese. Daly omits some alternative Norse spellings, but gives variant Greek and Latin forms in the classical volume. All of the titles include unattributed, undated black-and-white illustrations that are sometimes pedestrian and/or bland. The relatively brief entries will attract browsers. All three books offer fine, and in the case of the Roberts's volume, otherwise scarce, resources.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2004 June
Most middle school and high school students at some time are assigned a report on some aspect of mythology, whether for English, history, or a world religions class. The challenge to teachers and librarians is finding resources for these report writers that sort through the myths to the basic details, allowing students to quickly look up gods, goddesses, creatures, and all things mythological. Daly's two books, part of a four-book series, meet that need. These new editions offer students a fair amount of information in an easy-to-use format. The most obvious changes include updated covers and slightly wider spacing between lines, which combined with better formatting, make the books much more user-friendly. Maps are cleaned up, and in the case of Greek and Roman Mythology, a map of Rome is added. The section on how to use the book is now more obvious, set slightly apart from the introduction. The entries themselves are updated where necessary, and illustrations have both been dropped and added. Selected bibliographies were revised in both books, but only Norse Mythology lists books with publication dates as recent as 2002 and divides the bibliography by general and Norse entries Although these books will not appeal much to casual readers, they are wonderful resources for research. These titles, along with the series books on Japanese and Egyptian mythology, are recommended for middle and high school libraries.-Snow Wildsmith Index. Illus. Maps. Biblio. Copyright 2004 Voya Reviews.

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