cover image The Robber Baby: Stories from the Greek Myths

The Robber Baby: Stories from the Greek Myths

Anne F. Rockwell. Greenwillow Books, $18 (79pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09740-0

Rockwell's ( Our Yard Is Full of Birds ; What We Like ) engaging roundup of 15 tales from Greek mythology opens with a concise introduction to the key residents of Mount Olympus. Subsequent entries range from very familiar myths (of Daedalus's doomed flight; Pandora's ill-starred curiosity; Orpheus's unrequited love for the lost Eurydice) to those featuring less renowned gods and goddesses. Less playful than Marcia Williams's Greek Myths for Young Children , Rockwell's narrative is at once authoritative and informal. The author does an admirable job of condensing the occasionally intricate myths, and brings each to a tidy conclusion. Still, the stories are of varying length and complexity, and some may be beyond the reach of those at the younger end of the intended audience. Using serigraphs painted with watercolors, Rockwell has created graceful, effectively luminescent illustrations. Her stylized lines loosely evoke classical art, while her storytelling sensibility is squarely up to date. Ages 5-up. (May)