Book Description

From School Library Journal Grade 5 Up?This free-verse retelling of Homer's Odyssey, first published in Milan in 2007, is presented in picture book/graphic novel format. Landmann recounts the events in chronological order, leaving out none of the hero's encounters but stinting somewhat on the activity at Ithaca. The spare verse moves the story along quickly with echoes of the original's power despite occasional choppy sections. The full-color images are rendered in a dark palette and in a rather primitive style. The artist provides arrows to direct readers through the variously sized and shaped panels, but many of the elements are so small as to lose detail. In one of the final scenes, Landmann writes that the suitors are without their weapons when Odysseus finally attacks but his large illustration includes swords at the sides of many of the corpses. This rendition of Odysseus's tale is a fine introduction but might work better with other versions to flesh out the story. Besides offering a translation of The Odyssey itself, librarians and teachers should consider Adèle Geras's Ithaka (Harcourt, 2006) for a different view of events. Choices for younger readers include Padraic Colum's The Children's Homer (S & S, 2004) and Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden's splendidly illustrated The Adventures of Odysseus (Barefoot, 2006).?Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Read more From Booklist Blending a graphic-novel format with classical images in glowing color, this big picture book tells the elemental myth of Odysseus? perilous journey. As the Greek hero leaves Troy to sail home to his wife, Penelope, he loses his way thousands of times and encounters a long list of monsters and dangers until his final reunion with his beloved. While the introductory note reminds readers that Odysseus? voyage is ?the eternal metaphor for every person?s life,? and it has been told over and over, this adaptation of the adventure story, originally published in Italy, is packed with dramatic action, from the horrific scene of Ulysses blinding the one-eyed monster, Polyphemus, to his encounter with Circe the enchantress, who has the head of a giant snake. Small framed images combine with big overviews, as in the powerful full-page picture of Ulysses, small and alone on his raft under a huge black sky. The accessible art may draw readers into the story?s poetic language and larger themes about the universal search for meaning. Grades 5-8. --Hazel Rochman Read more See all Editorial Reviews