Reviews for Understanding Chinese Myths

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 April

Gr 5-8--Despite the title, this series is more of an overview of ancient cultures than a primer on mythology. In addition to providing background on religious practices and relevant gods and goddesses, each volume also discusses social structure, domestic life, and cultural legacies. Prefaced by didactic explanations about their historical or cultural significance, the myths are briefly retold and inserted into appropriate areas; for example, in Greek Myths, the story of the Trojan Horse is covered in a chapter on warfare. Though the selected myths are relevant and enduring, the retellings are lackluster and dry. Illustrations are largely limited to maps and photographs of ancient artifacts or artwork reproductions. This series won't instill any passion in students about the subject, but it could be a useful starting point for research assignments.

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