Saturday, June 18, 2016

D'Aulaire's Norse Gods & Giants: A Book Review

I picked this text up in order to start digging into Norse mythology for a work of fiction I am/was working on. Instead of diving into the source text without a background, I was able to use D'Aulaire's Norse Gods & Giants. While dated, the book presents a detailed, well researched account of Norse myth. Beginning with the creation of the cosmos, using the concrete terminology from the medieval texts, the D’Aulaires follow the path of the birth of giant Ymir all the way through to the aftermath of Ragnarok. We are thus walked through the full breadth of the pantheon of Scandinavian mythos and few details are left unturned.

Written in plain text and complete with illustrations, the D’Aulaires dig into the depths of the famed Poetic Edda. In doing so, they create a brilliant tale, intended for children yes, but also crafted in a manner in which all ages can and will be entertained. Beyond information and enjoyment, the text serves academic purposes as well as a plain text, relatable instrument that you can present to students to introduce them to Norse topics before contrasting with the source text. While not available for new purchase, there are plenty of sellers out there who make the text available for purchase for an affordable price.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent book. My kids enjoyed the D'Aulaire books, though we skipped Pochantas due to the really dated, frankly racist, illustrations. Excellent books if you keep in mind the times in which they were written.
    Lisa @