D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths (New York Review Children's Collection Series)

D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths (New York Review Children's Collection Series)


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The Caldecott medal-winning d'Aulaires once again captivate their young audience with this beautifully illustrated introduction to Norse legends, telling stories of Odin the All-father, Thor the Thunder-god and the theft of his hammer, Loki the mischievous god of the Jotun Race, and Ragnarokk, the destiny of the gods. Children meet Bragi, the god of poetry, and the famous Valkyrie maidens, among other gods, goddesses, heroes, and giants. Illustrations throughout depict the wondrous other world of Norse folklore and its fantastical Northern landscape.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590171257
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 08/15/2005
Series: New York Review Children's Collection Series
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 65,085
Product dimensions: 11.92(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range: 5 - 9 Years

About the Author

Ingri Mortenson and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire met at art school in Munich in 1921. Edgar’s father was a noted Italian portrait painter, his mother a Parisian. Ingri, the youngest of five children, traced her lineage back to the Viking kings.

The couple married in Norway, then moved to Paris. As Bohemian artists, they often talked about emigrating to America. “The enormous continent with all its possibilities and grandeur caught our imagination,” Edgar later recalled.

A small payment from a bus accident provided the means. Edgar sailed alone to New York where he earned enough by illustrating books to buy passage for his wife. Once there, Ingri painted portraits and hosted modest dinner parties. The head librarian of the New York Public Library’s juvenile department attended one of those. Why, she asked, didn’t they create picture books for children?

The d’Aulaires published their first children’s book in 1931. Next came three books steeped in the Scandinavian folklore of Ingri’s childhood. Then the couple turned their talents to the history of their new country. The result was a series of beautifully illustrated books about American heroes, one of which, Abraham Lincoln, won the d’Aulaires the American Library Association’s Caldecott Medal. Finally they turned to the realm of myths.

The d’Aulaires worked as a team on both art and text throughout their joint career. Originally, they used stone lithography for their illustrations. A single four-color illustration required four slabs of Bavarian limestone that weighed up to two hundred pounds apiece. The technique gave their illustrations an uncanny hand-drawn vibrancy. When, in the early 1960s, this process became too expensive, the d’Aulaires switched to acetate sheets which closely approximated the texture of lithographic stone.

In their nearly five-decade career, the d’Aulaires received high critical acclaim for their distinguished contributions to children’s literature. They were working on a new book when Ingri died in 1980 at the age of seventy-five. Edgar continued working until he died in 1985 at the age of eighty-six.

Michael Chabon is the author of several books, including The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son and, most recently, Telegraph Avenue.

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D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths (New York Review Children's Collection Series) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have waited to share this book with may children for over 15 years. It was a cherished and probably over-checked out book for me. The D'Aulaires introduced me to mythology, Greek and Norse, in the most fantastic way. I read every word and immersed myself in their every illustration. For me, their books were the books of mythology. I am so glad the Norse volume has returned. I could not find it anywhere outside of expensive collector sites on the internet.
cassielanzas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
D'Aulaires' book of Norse Myths is a picture book containing an adaptation of Norse myth. It begins with the creation of the world an chronicles the conflicts the Norse Gods and humans have with one another. I enjoyed this book, especially the pictures. They were create with limestone tablets prints using only four colors. The effect is unique and striking. I think this would be an excellent book for reading during a unit on mythology or independent reading. The D'Aulaires do an incredible job making the myths accessible.
countdowntoblastoff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A perfect book.This is the kind of book children stumble upon in libraries and then obsessively devour for weeks. The myths are exciting and easily understandable, and the D'Aulaire's rough and colorful illustrations carve themselves indelibly into the memory. If you and/or your children have never seen this book, do yourselves a favor and get acquainted.
timspalding on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I adored the book as a child and revere it now. Although I ended up in Classics for graduate school, D'Aulaires Greek myths never caught me the way his Norse myths did.
bkwurm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of the d'Aulaire mythology collections. My kids and I love their collection of Greek myths, and have read through them more than once. The Norse myths are by nature a little harsher and a little colder, but I think they inspired more questions and discussion between my daughters and myself than the Greek myths did--always a good thing! The d'Aulaire retelling of the Norse myths is clear, kid-friendly and just the right length to keep their attention, but it does all of this without losing the underlying feeling and meaning behind these often harsh and bloody histories. The illustrations are wonderful, and complement the stories perfectly. They myths can be read individually, or in order like a novel, to tell the story of the Norse pantheon from its inception to its demise at Ragnarokk. There is so much reference to Norse myth in our culture and our literature, it really gives kids (and let's be honest, adults as well) a head start to have some familiarity with the stories and the history. This book has sparked plenty of interesting discussion, and I know we'll end up reading and enjoying it again and again over the years.
lauraejensen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A stunning introduction to Norse Mythology. Classic and indispensable. Tellings of Odin, Thor, Bragi the god of poetry. The wondrous fantastical world of maidens, elves, gnomes, heroes, gods, goddesses and giants. A captivating, fantastic book with amazing illustrations. Will inspire children from the first sentence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply Fantastic!
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