Reviews for Chinese Mythology

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
Each book provides an overview of mythology from the title region. Folktales and legends, rituals and beliefs, creation stories, and deities are all very briefly covered. Well-placed images (some, oddly, sourced through Wikipedia) enhance the texts. There is occasional redundancy across volumes, and readers may be frustrated by the spotty glossaries and lack of pronunciations. Otherwise, they're acceptable introductions. Ind. [Review covers these World of Mythology titles: African Mythology, Chinese Mythology, Egyptian Mythology, and European Mythology.] Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 June

Gr 3-6--Unlike the encyclopedic presentation of the "Mythology A to Z" series (Facts on File), these books have more illustrations, are more conversational, and are clearly directed at a younger audience. While the general outline is identical in all three books, Ollhoff approaches the civilizations individually with a focus that details the unique qualities of their traditions. The books offer only the briefest glimpse into the cultures, but serve as explanatory introductions to the role that folklore plays in a society. Readers will learn the definition of African trickster tales, why China has multiple mythologies, and which days of the week are named for Norse gods, and get an overview of the creation myths of each culture. Sagas, legends, fables, and folklore are defined. Every spread devotes at least a full page to images of cultural artifacts, photographs, or illustrations related to the stories. While the photos and anthropological art are of high quality, the references are rather forced, and the original art tends to be dramatic as seen in representations of characters on the covers: sensationalized to be enticing, but lacking depth or quality. The books conclude with summaries of traditional stories central to each civilization. Missing are source notes for the stories and pronunciation guides.--Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library

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