cover image Cyclops


Leonard Everett Fisher. Holiday House, $16.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0891-7

Fans of Fisher's well-sourced retellings of the Greek myths will shiver with terror at this emotive episode in the adventures of Odysseus. The most electrifying aspect here is the astonishing art: readers' attention is grabbed with the cover painting of the hideous Cyclops and held by one riveting spread after another. The mariners' boat is dwarfed and battered by waves; the sky is an ominous blue-black; the landscapes are dramatically lit by a sun that breaks through heavy clouds. The richly toned paintings intensify the theatricality inherent in the confrontation between Odysseus and the mythic monster. Excitement builds with the interplay of light and shadow in the paintings of the doomed captives in the one-eyed giant's cave; the giant himself is so immense and threatening that the pages can barely contain him. Although the story's grisly aspects make it less palatable to those youngsters at the low end of the age range, this is in any event enticing fare. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)