by Donna Jo Napoli
Illustrated by Christina Balit
Published September 2015
National Geographic Children's Books
Review copy provided by publisher
Animals are...surprisingly human. Finding the ways in which people and animals connect may inspire the next generation to be true caretakers of Earth. Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia is a comprehensive look at the major animal groups, highlighting their unique but also relatable personalities and behavior.
Classic stories and dazzling illustrations of gods, goddesses, heroes and monsters come to life in a stunning tableau of Norse myths, including those of the thunder god Thor, the one-eyed god and Allfather Odin, and the trickster god Loki. The lyrical storytelling of award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli dramatizes the timeless tales of ancient Scandinavia. This book is the third in the trilogy that includes the popular National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology and National Geographic Treasury of Egyptian Mythology.
I have to admit, I had never heard of Norse mythology before reading this book. I was familiar with a small amount of Greek mythology, mostly from my students and reading The Lightning Thief, but Norse mythology was not something I knew existed. For those of you who are like me, Norse mythology is actually the religion of a large part of Scandinavia and Germany before the introduction of Christianity.
I am a fan of Marvel's Avengers movies so when I read about Thor and Loki in this book, I finally realized that they came from Norse mythology. I found the timeline history and the character glossary in the back of the book to be very helpful as mythology often has many characters and can get confusing. The author also includes little side notes with additional, helpful information, including photographs or artifacts and historical information for the reader throughout the book.
The story is very intriguing and written so children will be able to understand the complicated events, creatures and characters. The accompanying illustrations have a definite mythological feel to them with large, exaggerated characters.
Children love mythology and folklore and this book will help them learn about a lesser known world of mythology.
You may also want to look at the other two books in this series: