cover image The Race of the Golden Apples

The Race of the Golden Apples

Clarie Martin, Claire Martin. Dial Books, $14.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0248-6

Imposing paintings by the gifted Dillons, two-time winners of the Caldecott Medal, illustrate Martin's debut book: a stylish, lucid retelling of the myth of Atalanta. Deep in the forest, the goddess Diana raises this Greek princess, who was abandoned at birth by her cruel father. The child, who ``delighted to swim swift-flowing rivers and ran like the wind,'' is not pleased when Diana tells her she must return to the kingdom of her aging father, who longs for an heir. But Atalanta goes and reluctantly agrees to marry, on the condition that her intended outrun her in a race--something no one has ever done. Venus comes to the aid of the winning suitor, Hippomenes, who has long been captivated by the princess. Framed by stylized arboreal designs, the Dillons' art is reminiscent of the medieval tapestries that inspired it. Geometric and floral patterns, as well as the fauna and flora of the forest, are rendered in stunning detail, and muted greens and golds contrast strikingly with luminous hues. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)