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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old favourites retold with just enough gore, 26 April 2010
This review is from: Beasts and Monsters (Legends) (Paperback)
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This slim volume holds just five classic myths from the past retold in entertaining style by Anthony Horowitz. It will be part of a series of six small books based on his previous Kingfisher Book of Myths and Legends first published nearly thirty years ago.

When my daughters were young they thoroughly enjoyed Horowitz's original version as bed-time stories, and our well-worn copy is still somewhere in the house. Publishing a revised edition in these smaller, lighter books with bigger print is a good idea, and the new illustrations are excellent.

I think he slightly misses his own target of being more up-to-date and accessible, by still having a slightly patronising style. Fortunately the tales rattle along nicely and one's attention is held throughout. He has taken the trouble to get the names right, and is reasonably faithful to the core of the relevant myth or legend. Perhaps a bit more embellishment and detail might have helped with making them come more alive, to make the pictures behind the closed eye-lids light up in full colour, but that is difficult if one is to be as accurate as possible.

I tested the book on a much younger mind, and right now it is still with him, being re-read, again. The main criticism from that nine-year-old was that it was too short; he read it in less than twenty minutes. And I tend to agree, I think about double the size would have been just right, say ten or twelve stories. The book might have the right quantity of stories for say a five year old, but they are just a bit too gory, and perhaps a younger reader would have liked a few more illustrations.

On balance, I prefer the original version. But this is equally entertaining, if a bit brief. So, three and a half stars has to be squeezed up to four stars.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

R. F. Stevens
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Ickenham UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 42