cover image I Am Hermes! Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods

I Am Hermes! Mischief-Making Messenger of the Gods

Mordicai Gerstein. Holiday House, $18.99 (72p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3942-3

The versatile Gerstein (I Am Pan!) uses comic-style panel artwork to tell the life of the Greek messenger god Hermes. Golden Hermes is born with a head of curly hair and the cupidity of a newly minted movie star: “The world!... I love it! I want it all!” Apollo, his older brother, shows Hermes his herd of crumple-horned cows, and the prodigy is seized with envy. Switching their hooves back to front and luring them away is good fun until he’s found out. “Were they meowing, led by a diapered infant with wings on his hat?” an old man replies when Apollo questions him. In later chapters, Hermes grows up (at the order of his father, Zeus, and in the space of a single page), marries and becomes a father, intervenes in the Olympian deities’ love lives, and guides Aesop’s storytelling career. The sequential artwork sparkles with energy and color, and Gerstein excels at capturing the expressions of the gods, from the grouchy Zeus to the odd, misshapen, many-eyed servant god Argus. In this raucous graphic novel fun fest, any educational value is purely coincidental. Ages 8–12. [em](Apr.) [/em]