Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Ciara Lendino. The Box: The Story of a Girl Named Pandora. Xlibris, Kindle Edition, 2011, pp. 28
Young adults (Adolescents, 10-14)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, email@example.com
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton, email@example.com
Ciara Lendino (Author, Illustrator)
Ciara Lendino enjoys writing and illustrating. She studied at Laguna College of Art and Design. She completed this story of Pandora [The Box: The Story of a Girl Named Pandora] at the age of fourteen. She studied at Laguna College of Art and Design.
No other biographical information was available at this date (November 2019)
Profile at xlibris.com (accessed: November 27, 2019).
Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
This book retells the myth of Pandora as a poem. Pandora inhabits a quasi paradise, where she happily lives with her friends. The book does not make any connection to Greek mythology- the gods or Epimetheus. Pandora receives a mysterious golden box form Hermes, the king’s messenger on the promise that she would never open it. Pandora becomes curious and opens the box. Immediately various monsters spring from the box and they whisper evil things to people and bring chaos. Pandora is sorry for her misdeed and then she hears a tiny voice from the box- Hope. Hope tells her that the King deliberately put her inside the box in case anything happens. The book ends on an optimistic voice, that the people can find happiness yet again.
The setting of this book recalls Diane Buttress’ Theseus and the Minotaur (2013) which was likewise delivered in verse. Yet while Diane’s book is aimed at primary school children, Ciara’s book seems to target a bit more mature audience, probably the age of the author or a little younger.
It is remarkable that a fourteen years old girl wrote her own retelling of Pandora’s box and accompanied it with her unique artwork. Her illustrations almost appear to be in 3D. Pandora and her friends resemble fairies or elves, not ordinary children. They are surrounded by a magical environment and strange looking animals. Against this serene and mystical background, the evils are emphasized as scary and out of this-world beings. They are not described as bugs as in some other renditions (for example the bees of Mary Helen Beckwith’s What's in the Box, Pandora? (2014) but as winged monsters who stand out with their greenish brown colours, which contrast with the rest of the scenes that are drawn with other colour palates, such as blue, pink or orange. Thus the colours perfectly complement the story and vividly supplement the text.
The author chose to deviate from the mythical world and focus on another mystical environment, beyond specific time or place. As an adolescent, she focuses on Pandora within her peer group. Pandora’s behaviour affects her friends and offends them. Pandora learns a hard lesson and fully repents for her actions. She is not described as an evil girl, but as an erroneous one.
While avoiding the Greek gods, the author has deliberately chosen to attribute the final act of kindness to a mysterious nameless king of the story. When Hope is released from the box, she tells Pandora:
“’Do not cry’ said Hope, “Though you have done wrong, the King Put me in the Box in case it was opened, He knows these kind of things. And even though you broke your promise The King will not break His promises to make the world better again, And love it as it is”
The king had foreseen what would happen and therefore he put Hope in the box (perhaps influnecd by the biblical story of Noha?). While he may appear benevolent, one could (and should) wonder, why did he put these evils in the box in the first place. Without the mythological setting, their existence is obscure. Furthermore, what was the promise the King made? The text has a Christian feel to it, deliberate or not, it is difficult to fathom. Humankind, or the being named Pandora, released evil, yet the King will restore peace and joy once again to the world, as a saviour. The book ends with a hopeful tone, or perhaps a fourteen-year-old wish, that people will regain their former happiness. Hope does not only support Pandora, it also inspires the author and the book.