Myth Atlas: Maps and Monsters, Heroes and Gods from Twelve Mythological Worlds

Publisher: Alison Green Books

Review

Did you know that the Yanomami people of the Amazon rainforest believe that the universe has four planes, stacked on top of each other? Or that in the Yoruba tradition, Shango, the orisha of thunder and justice, owns a powerful double-headed axe similar to Norse storm god Thor’s hammer Mjolnir? The mythological worlds of 12 cultures from Ireland to Japan, Polynesia to the mythos of the Hindu world are explored here in a beautiful collection.

It’s refreshing to find a book about world mythologies for children that includes more than the more well-known tales from cultures such as ancient Greece and Rome, as well as one that clearly recognises that while some of these mythologies are ancient and historic, many still form the basis of religious and spiritual beliefs in many cultures today.

Each culture’s section explores key concepts and the world view of the culture, looks at a key story in the mythos, and explores some creatures and artefacts associated with it in clear, attractively illustrated chapters.

Looking at a cross section of mythologies in this way shows interesting parallels and similar concepts and icons across cultures, as well as helping children to celebrate and respect the wonderful differences in the way different people see the world.

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