Reviews for Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Norse


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 March 2002
Ages 5-9. In this follow-up to Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Maya (2000) and Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt (1997), Fisher presents another winning family album of deities. Each spread offers a page of introductory text on one side and Fisher's bold, brightly painted portrait of the subject on the other. The simple text tells just enough to generate interest in each of the characters and to describe relationships among them, although some readers may find the text too brief. The striking cover of a fierce, one-eyed Viking is sure to draw browsers, while the layered worlds of gnomes, giants, humans, and gods will attract budding fantasy fans. A pronunciation guide, a Norse family tree, and a bibliography of adult books round out this title that will enliven mythology units with its rarely covered material. ((Reviewed March 1, 2002)) Copyright 2002 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Fall
Vivid images of the Norse pantheon grace the pages of this beginning guide to the mythology of Scandinavia. Each arresting double-page spread is devoted to one or two of the major gods or goddesses, accompanied by a succinct description that includes significant characteristics and responsibilities. A pronunciation guide and family tree are appended. Bib. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2002 January #2
Fisher (Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Maya, 1999, etc.) looks to Scandinavia for his latest gallery of the gods, presenting somber portraits of Odin, Thor, and a dozen of their associates paired to tossed-off bits of information about each. Despite some arresting images-one-eyed Odin glowering up from the front cover, for instance, or Loki, chained for his misdeeds, writhing in agony as a snake drips venom onto his face-overall the art is unusually static even for Fisher, who either poses his figures making melodramatic but obscure gestures, or just has them stand around looking off into the distance. The writing too is inconsistent; readers learn the name of Heimdall's trumpet but not Thor's hammer, are left in the dark about what Niffleheim is, and get either fragments of tales, or vague comments like "[Odin] allowed his body to be hurt to learn the mysterious writings called ‘runes'." A schematic map and family tree help, but this is a weak link in the series. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10) Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2002 February #3
As he did in Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Maya, Leonard Everett Fisher continues to explore mythology in Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Norse. Set against bold portraits, informative passages explain each of the 14 deity's place in the pantheon. Endpapers contain a map, bibliography, pronunciation guide and a Norse gods family tree. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 March
Gr 2-4-Norse mythology-with its full-bodied mixture of lyricism and violence-is too often overlooked in collections for children. Fisher makes it accessible to this audience without forfeiting its complexity and drama. Using a fairly large format, he effectively blends full-page illustrations with a clearly written text to present snapshots of 15 gods and goddesses. Some may be familiar to young readers (Thor and Loki), but most will not. The art is highly stylized and appears to be done in either gouache or acrylics. Employing dynamic color combinations that are most often used in poster art, Fisher creates richly textured paintings that convey both the harshness (Loki being punished by dripping snake venom) and gracefulness (Heimdall guarding the rainbow bridge) of Norse mythology. The book includes a much-needed pronunciation guide, an introduction, a double-page visual of the organization of the Norse mythological world, and a Norse family tree. Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire's book D'Aulaires' Norse Gods and Giants (Doubleday, 1967) is mentioned in Fisher's bibliography and is a longer and more thorough survey for this same age group. Overall, Fisher's introduction may get kids excited about this culture's mythology.-Denise Anton Wright, Alliance Library System, Bloomington, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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