Eight different goddesses from Egypt to North America to Nigeria take center stage in The Lady of Ten Thousand Names: Goddess Stories from Many Cultures retold by Burleigh Mutan, illus. by Helen Cann. Readers learn about saintly goddesses such as Kuan Yin, who has been worshipped for centuries in China as the "goddess of kindness, mercy and grace" as well as deities with a darker side, such as Freya, the Scandinavian goddess of love and desire, sorcery and magic, war and death. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Gr 4-7-Eight myths present the common theme of the powerful goddess while highlighting differences in the folklore of various cultures. Kuan Yin (Chinese), White Buffalo Woman (Lakota), Oshun (Yoruba), and Cerridwen (Welsh) are among the figures whose stories are retold here. The retellings read well and retain details that make them appear to be accurate, although in the retelling of Persephone, Hades does not trick her with the pomegranate seeds-she makes the conscious decision to eat them, having considered the consequence. Though there are no notes specific to each story, a single list at the end implies that Mutn consulted several sources regarding each goddess. Cann's colorful and romantic spot and full-page watercolor, graphite, and collage illustrations will appeal to readers. The artist uses cultural symbols and patterns in these paintings and borders, though the people all have similar features, and the human postures are occasionally awkward. Readers will appreciate this complementary selection of stories. Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.