Title of the work
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Country/countries of popularity
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Eric Braun, Gods of Legend (Series): Zeus, Mankato, MN: Black Rabbit Books, 2018, 32 pp.
Action and adventure fiction
Children (9-12 yo)
We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.
Author of the Entry:
Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Lisa Maurice, Bar Ilan University, email@example.com
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Braun (Author)
Eric Braun is an American author and editor of books for all ages. He received numerous awards for his books, among them the Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Award, the Foreword Book of the Year Gold Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, and many others. He holds an MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
https://www.freespirit.com/authors/eric-braun (accessed: January 10, 2021).
Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, email@example.com
This book is part of the Gods of Legend series, which include Athena, Hercules, Loki, Odin and Thor. This series, similarly to Capstone publishing's Legendary Goddesses series offers brief and basic information on various gods and heroes from Greek and Norse mythologies. This book explores Zeus' various powers and attributes, his family tree, the meaning of Greek mythology, a map of the Greek world, a tale of Zeus against the Titans, a two-page illustration of Zeus, some mythological stories: Prometheus; and Sisyphus punishments, Zeus in Rome (Jupiter) and Zeus today (with a photo of Liam Neeson from Clash of the Titans 2010 movie).
The text is accompanied by stock photos from various resources, such as Alamy, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Shutterstock and more. At the end of the book, there is a glossary, a brief list of 3 books on mythology and three websites on the ancient gods and an index.
This booklet is meant to give the readers a brief introduction to the Greek king of the gods. While describing his weapons, powers and strength, the book mainly focuses on Zeus' anger. The chosen myths which are briefly narrated, refer to his anger at Prometheus, Sisyphus and his fight against Cronos. Even in the two-page illustration, among the apparent attributes (sceptre and thunderbolt), appears another attribute: "easy to anger." Hence the readers may receive the impression that Zeus did not do much but constantly became angry with others. Perhaps the author wished to indicate Zeus' omnipotent power by his treatment of others while being angry at them?
The book opens with Zeus, in the guise of an eagle, kidnapping a nameless nymph and Sisyphus' punishment for telling the nymph's father what had happened. While this myth symbolizes Zeus' unruly behavior in many of the ancient myths, it perpetuates his character in this book, even before the readers get the chance to read more about him. Zeus' roles as the defender of hospitality and justice are not mentioned at all, as a result, we receive an incomplete portrayal of the god.
Regarding Zeus' appearance in the various illustrations, he is portrayed as a muscular elderly man, with a white beard. In most images, as on the book's cover, his face seems angry. He appears with his thunderbolts, crown and sceptre. One illustration depicts the Phidias Olympian statue.