Monday, April 3, 2017

Mythology: Visual Reference Guide (Philip Wilkinson and Neil Philip)

Mythology: Visual Reference Guide
Phillip Wilkinson and Neil Philip
Dorling Kindersley
Nonfiction, YA Mythology
**** (Good)

DESCRIPTION: A quick-reference guide to myths and gods from around the world.

REVIEW: This portable overview of global myths and deities earns marks for covering a wide array of cultures, from the oft-retold Greek and Roman tales to less common myths from Africa and Oceania. It divides itself by region, then includes a quick-reference at the back grouping gods by basic roles (war, love, and so forth.) However, it also glosses over major chunks of mythology (such as chopping off often-tragic endings to Greek hero myths), and its summaries sometimes feel frustratingly incomplete. This is, naturally, one of the trade-offs required to keep this visual reference guide from becoming a multi-volume oversized encyclopedia set, but I still wondered if more could've been done to preserve some cultural touchstones or relevance; many of these stories lose a lot simply by being translated, with connections that seem obvious to the original tellers lost to those of us reading it in a different language and culture. Like most DK titles, there are numerous illustrations from various sources. In the end, I went with a Good rating, considering it as a simple introduction to world mythology.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Voices of the Winds: Native American Legends (Margot Edmonds and Ella E. Clark) - My Review
The Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were (Micheal Page and Robert Ingpen) - My Review
Eyewitness Books: Mythology (Neil Philip) - My Review

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