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PANDORA'S BOX; A GREEK MYTH ABOUT THE CONSTELLATIONS

Author: Jean Marzollo, retold by

Illustrator: Jean Marzollo

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Publisher: Little, Brown and Company,

Material: hard cover

Summary: When King Zeus found out that Prometheus stole fire, he was angry. Very angry. So angry he wanted to punish everyone. So he devised a plan. He created a beautiful woman named Pandora, and gave her the gift of curiosity. When Pandora married Epimethius, he gave them a beautiful box as a wedding present, but warned them NOT to open it. One day, Pandora's curiosity got the best of her, and she opened the box. hen she did, the "trouble bugs" escaped. Now people would be affected by bug diseases like grumpiness, destruction, laziness, worry, and others. Could she do anything to fix her mess? This is a Greek myth retold for a young audience.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read, developing reader

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 6 to 9

Reading Level: 2.5

Age of Child: Read with 5½-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: This book received a lukewarm reception. The idea that moods and behavior were "bugs" caught our child's attention, but seeing hope locked in a box didn't make sense. "How can it work if it's in a box?"

Adult Reader Reaction: We have read other Greek myths in this series with greater positive reaction. This one didn't particularly capture our child's interest. This particularly version didn't seem to match our own recollections of this myth and the contents of Pandora's Box.

Pros: Explaining mythology to young readers isn't easy. This book helps with that. It also will your kids understand a phrase they have likely heard for years: "opening Pandora's Box." The brightly colored illustrations are an excellent complement to the story itself.

Cons: Some of the story is told in traditional format, but there is "dialogue" that is scattered about the pages (not to mention the running commentary at the bottom). It ranges from silly to distracting to annoying.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at best. The story has value in helping kids understand an everyday phrase, but it is not particularly well done.

If You Liked This Book, Try: LITTLE BEAR, YOU'RE A STAR! (A Greek Myth)   LET'S GO, PEGASUS!   MYTH OF THE SUMMER MOON

Educational Themes: This modernized telling of the myth can help children draw parallels that are relevant to their own world. In the front of the book, the author offers suggestions about using the book in play format.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, fables and folklore, mythology

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2007

Other Reviews:




                 

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