Review Blog

Sep 03 2014

Two tales of twins from Ancient Greece and Rome, retold by Ursula Dubosarsky

cover image

Ill. by David Allan. Christmas Press, 2014. ISBN 9780992283844.
(Age: 6-10) Recommended. Folk tales, Romulus and Remus, Artemis and Apollo. Two well known tales are included in this beautifully illustrated book, Romulus and Remus, and Artemis and Apollo. I was surprised on reading these two tales how little I knew, so this is will be very welcome to child readers, and adults alike.
Artemis and Apollo, twin children of the god, Zeus, have quite different abilities, and lead a glorious childhood, and as gods, Apollo draws the sun across the sky in the morning, and his twin sister, Artemis brings it back at night.
Romulus and Remus too, is a known story of the founding of Rome, but the detail is not so well known. The tale that Dubosarsky retells gives us an insight into the distress of three different sets of parents, the original mother who set them adrift in a basket on the river, the wolf who found them and brought them up, and the shepherd and his wife who continued their nurturing. But in leaving the shepherd family the boys want to make their own path, eventually founding the great city of Rome.
Allan's illustrations appear like woodcuts, soft colours and borders, edges and frames all with black outlines. Each page is different with a varying number of panels, while some pictures embrace the complete page. However they are placed it is engaging and draws the eye to the illustration.
This book will be a useful addition to the classroom where myths and legends are being discussed, or a book at home to read and talk about myths of the past still told today.
Fran Knight

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