Gifts from the Gods
Ancient Words and Wisdom from Greek and Roman Mythology
Publication Date: October 25, 2011
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Ancient names come to rich and fascinating life in this lavishly illustrated gift book for mythology fans and word lovers. Did you know that “museums” were initially temples built to worship the nine muses, the goddesses of the arts? That “Janus” was the god of the doorways and hallways, and we have named our janitors after him?
Where did these words — and other words, such as chaos, genius, nemesis, panic, echo, and narcissus — come from? From the ancient stories of the Greeks — stories that rang so true and wise that the names of the characters have survived for centuries as words we use every day. The brief stories here not only impart the subtle wisdom of these ancient tales, but make us understand the words, and our own world, more deeply.
Folklorist, linguist, and professional storyteller, Lise Lunge Larsen draws upon her rich background in legends and myths to make these tales come alive. A children's book author, she has received many starred reviews and awards for her books.
Gareth Hinds has created illustrated versions of such classics as BEOWULF, KING LEAR, MERCHANT OF VENICE and most recently, THE ODYSSEY, forthcoming from Candlewick in fall 2010. As a recent interview with him (SLJ Teen 1/20/2010) said, "He stays faithful to the original text but uses art to illuminate the story and make it more accessible to the reader." A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, he lives in New York City with his wife, former children's bookseller, Alison Morris.
"A treat for myth lovers and language lovers alike, this smart and well-executed compilation should provide readers with a deeper understanding of the ways in which language evolves and of the surprising symbolism behind certain words."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The colorful artwork and brief chapters make this volume ideal for classroom sharing. Use this unique offering to launch a discussion about the elemental power of story and its influence on modern-day language."--School Library Journal
"Sure to attract language arts teachers who want students to master word origins, this work will also hold strong appeal for teens who will be attracted by the combination of clever text and exceptional illustrations."--VOYA