cover image Tales of Pan

Tales of Pan

Mordicai Gerstein. HarperCollins Publishers, $12.95 (63pp) ISBN 978-0-06-021996-3

Thirteen stories of the silly, delightful mythological god Pan and his family are compiled in this picture book. When Pan is born, his distinguishing curly horns, beard and goat legs frighten away the nurse; others immediately love and admire him. His presence changes Mount Olympus from a peaceful place to one of confusion and havoc. He skips, dances, shrieks, leaps, races, yowls, claps and jumps throughout the story, never stopping for a moment. Tired of Olympus, he heads to Arcadia, finding nymphs, flowers, people and creatures everywhere. There, Pan repeatedly falls in love. He invents ""panic,'' he kisses Hercules and is tossed out a window, he challenges Apollo to a music contest, and more. Gerstein's version of these Greek tales is direct and clearly written. His wildly exhuberant artwork conveys the noise and confusion that characterizes Pan himself. (710)