cover image Pegasus


Marianna Mayer. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13382-5

Though many young Disney fans now know Pegasus as the pet-like winged steed of Hercules, Mayer (Turandot) will broaden this perception by introducing Bellerophon, another mythical hero who teamed up with the magnificent horse. Bellerophon, the brave and handsome son of the king of Corinth, inspired the jealousy of many Greeks. One such enemy devises a plan that pits Bellerophon against the horrible demon-beast Chimera. Bellerophon's only hope of defeating the monster is to gain the trust and help of Pegasus. Mayer delves into works by Robert Graves and Erich Neumann for her classical-toned retelling. Her version contains the requisite cast of feisty gods and human royalty and all the intrigue and clearly drawn conflict that make mythology so compelling. Craft's (Cupid and Psyche) detailed, Italianate illustrations are similarly grand in scope. Each of her darkly shadowed paintings, featuring the rolling Greek countryside and figures dressed in flowing tunics, is framed in gold, like a museum piece. Several sweeping, dramatic scenes capture the colossal action of the tale. This bold adventure will likely encourage readers to investigate other myths and mythic heroes. Ages 5-up. (Apr.)