11th August 2016, Pavillion Children's Books, 112 pages, Hardback, Review copy
This fun book, part of the popular Cool series, is a fascinating introduction to world mythology, broken up into handy bite-sized chunks. It covers all the main world mythologies, including Sumerian, Incan, African, Native American, African, Egyptian, Persian, Hindu, Norse and, of course, Greek and Roman, including the famous Olympians (Zeus, Hera, Poseidon and others). It begins with a selection of creation myths from different cultures (for example the Dreamtime of Aboriginal Australian mythology) and delves into individual stories from mythology, such as Perseus meeting Medusa and Pandora's box. It covers fantastical mythological creatures from the fearsome Manticore from Persian legend to the modern-day Yeti, plus giants, dragons and the Phoenix. It explores mythological places like Atlantis and various versions of the afterlife, from the idyllic Arthurian Avalon to the rather less pleasant Yomi, the dark and gloomy underworld of Japanese mythology.
Ancient myths are still relevant to today's society, explaining traditions and giving lasting moral lessons. But most of all, they're entertaining adventures that connect us to the past - and this book is the perfect introduction to how cool mythology really is.
Do not underestimate this book by it's size. It may be small, but it is jam packed full of facts about myths! There's vampires, unicorns, Nessy, and the usual Greek/Roman/Egyptian myths too. It goes into great detail about famous ancient authors, the necessary facts about mytical gods and goddesses, it dispells famous myths which aren't at all true (including the Bermuda Triangle), there is so much crammed into this book that's a bit bigger than A5 in length but not width. While quite a lot of the myths were familiar to me, there was a fair amount of information which I didn't know
The illustrations are colourful and numerous, without something new on each page to attract the reader. The only reason it got a lower grade is because I'm not fond of the illustration style. It's a book to dip in and out of, perfect if you need to learn about particular topics, as well as a book to read for a few hours if you love factual reads (I did as a child).