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D'AULAIRE'S NORSE GODS & GIANTS [Paperback]

Ingri D'Aulaire
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 19 1986
Ancient myths, populated by gods and giants, were  invented by the imaginative Norsemen centuries  ago. Everything from the creation of the world to  daily events and supernatural occurrences form the  basis for these incredible, fun and fascinating  stories. Complete with a Reader's Companion: a  combination index, glossary, pronunciation and reader's  guide.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The Caldecott Medalwinning team of Abraham Lincoln and D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths has compiled in one illustrated volume stories about the gods and heroes of the Norse people.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

Ancient myths, populated by gods and giants, were invented by the imaginative Norsemen centuries ago. Everything from the creation of the world to daily events and supernatural occurrences form the basis for these incredible, fun and fascinating stories. Complete with a Reader's Companion: a combination index, glossary, pronunciation and reader's guide.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book was the first, and to date best, book of Norse mythology I read. I single-handedly read my third grade teacher's copy to pieces, along with the D'Aulaire book of Greek mythology. The beautiful illustrations stuck in my head, and have become permantly associated with the stories. I was influenced so much that I am now studying to be a professional medievalist, with a particular emphasis in Germanic/Northern European literature. The D'Aulaire books are a must have for any parent, teacher, or lover of mythology. Hopefully the publishers will re-print this book so we can all afford it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic June 23 2004
Format:Paperback
I remember this book from way back in the day. I was still in elementary school when I first read it. The stories and illustrations were vividly implanted in my brain. Particularly that of Thor, the red bearded god of thunder and Odin, father of the gods. And Ragnarok of course. Although I always thought that Odin went out like a chump. Eaten in one bite by the Fenris wolf, for shame. Recently, I found an old copy at a local libaray. It was a refreshing trip down memory lane. Too bad it is out of print. Oh well, there will always be the memories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Please reprint this book! Jan. 14 2004
Format:Paperback
I remember checking out the D'Aulaire's illustrated books of the Greek and Norse gods over and over again at our school library about 22 years ago and I never got tired of them. It's a testament to how good they are that I still remember them after all this time. It's a real shame that this book can't be found for under $100 used. They republished the Greek Myths book; why can't they do the same for the Norse version? I want to share this book with my kids.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book I checked it out for about a month. Feb. 12 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Its great, lots of kids in my class were looking at it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Childhood Book July 22 2002
By Jeffrey Leach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I was in grade school, so many years ago, a friend of mine turned me on to this amazing book. This book became my raison d'etre during those years. I checked it out of the library so many times that the librarian would come looking for me when someone else wanted to borrow it. I can still remember that copy of the book: the clear plastic cover over the dust jacket with a tear along the bottom right corner. When I moved on into junior high, once in awhile I would think of this book and wonder if it still resided in its usual position on the bookshelf. Even after I graduated from high school and began my life, I continued to wonder if this book was still in the library of my old elementary school. True, I thought about the book less and less as the years went by, but I still remembered it fondly when I thought of it. Then one night, while skating along the Internet, I thought of the book and decided to see if I could locate a copy. I frowned when I discovered it was out of print, but continued my search, becoming feverish as each avenue of inquiry turned up naught.
Then finally, success! I found a copy, available for an astronomical sum. I shelled out the dough and waited for its arrival. I was not disappointed. The book was just as I remembered it: an oversized hard cover copy with the familiar, although faded, dust jacket. Ultimately, the price I paid for the book really didn't matter. Who can put a price on the memories of childhood? I would have paid double what I coughed up for this precious book. What disappointed me was discovering that it was out of print. That is a crime I hope is soon remedied.
D'Aulaire's "Norse Gods and Giants" is an excellent book for a child. It is a simplified retelling of the stories and adventures of the Norse pantheon. All of the gods are here: Odin, Thor, Loki, Heimdall, Balder, Freya, and all the rest. Along with the descriptions and anecdotes of the gods and goddesses are stories about the creation of the earth, the evil jotuns, and Ragnorrak (the end the world). All of the stories explain earthly phenomena, such as planting, writing, death, fertility, war, and love. My favorite story in the book is the Thor cycle, actually four stories recounting the exploits of Thor (often with the treacherous Loki in tow) against the hated jotuns. The book crackles with magic, action, and amazing worlds. The D'Aulaires even add a post-script about the emergence of Christianity after the Norse pantheon collapses.
However, it is the illustrations that make this book such a treasure. The pictures run the gamut, from crude pencil or charcoal drawings, to ultra-bright colored pictures depicting the gods and goddesses acting out their stories. The artwork is, at times, extraordinary. The drawing of the goddess Sif and her golden hair is one of the most beautiful depictions of a woman I've seen in a children's book. It is the pictures, more so than the text, which moves the book along at a fast pace.
A reader's companion at the end of the book explains all of the characters and events in the narrative, along with explanations of what a story meant for those who told them and listened to them. For example, the story of Frey wooing the icy jotun Gerd explained how the barley fields thawed in the spring. A story about Odin hanging himself from a tree for nine days and nights explained how runes came into being. Even if the stories were stripped of their meaning in human terms, they would still be enormously entertaining for children.
As age encroaches on us, we learn about soteriology, eschatology, and the common origins of every religion. But once in awhile it's nice to shuck all of that and just indulge in something for the sheer joy of the thing. This book goes a long way towards accomplishing that. I wish every library contained a copy of this exciting and beautiful book. To think I even considered going back to my old elementary school in order to "liberate" this book! Oh well, I've got my copy. Now you have to find yours.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norse Gods and Giants July 8 2003
By T. W. Ohlson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Like so many other readers, I remember this as the first book I ever read in school. The Norse gods were nothing like their immortal counterparts in Greek and Roman mythology--they were true heros who knew their days were numbered, yet fought valiantly against malevolent forces until the bitter end. The D'Aulaires spin these heroic myths into abridged tales that will certainly enthrall any youngster and leave them asking for more. I attribute, almost exclusively, my lifelong love of reading to this book. In fact, some years back I was able to purchase a copy of the book, which had been autographed by the authors. I paid a sizeable sum, but now proudly display the copy on my bookshelf for all to see. I guess the only downside is that I cherish the book so much, I don't let my own children look at it without me being present!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its being reprinted at last!!!!!!!!! March 2 2005
By A gamer dad in Virginia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It being reprinted! Its being reprinted at last, and in hard cover!!!!!

It is being retitled "D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths" and can now be pre-ordered from Amazon.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcoming door into the Old Norse Worldview is closed! Dec 30 2004
By Eric Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Like so many folks, I had a copy of this book as a child and it always fascinated me, mostly because of the beautiful and unusual art. The stories puzzled me, being raised in the modern Christian and scientific tradition, and I found them strange as a child. But as I grew into a greater and more open minded appreciation of my Norwegian heritage, I decided to re-read them as a way of sampling some fond memories from my childhood. Reading the book anew and enjoying the artwork all the more, I realized they were a most wonderful introduction to an ancient worldview of a people who lived in a very harsh climate. All the forces of nature that can make us feel so small, a raging sea, an avalanche, a vast and beautiful forest, the towering peaks of an awsome fjord, have been personified in the old Norse pantheon. It is fascinating still to read of the explanations this culture offered for the harsh forces of nature in their worldly experience. The worldview of the ancient Norse is presented in this book so clearly and so accesibly, it is a wonder and a treasure to read. I sure do wish I could share it with my children. I am sorry their youth is passing and this book is not in a reprinted version. It is unfortunate that the book about the Greek Gods and Heroes by the same author can be reprinted but this one cannot. It is a shame that such an important contribution to the traditions of Europe and America, in the form of these tales in this wonderful book, is being neglected. I hope it will be reprinted one day so that I can enjoy this book again and share it with those I love.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure! April 24 2003
By Sarah D. Primrose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wow ~ I always knew this was an amazing book...it was read & re-read by myself & my siblings for many, many years until I believe the copy we owned literally fell apart! When a friend of mine was clearing out her old children's books & gave them to my then-young son about 10 years ago, I was so pleased to see that "Norse Gods & Giants" was among one of the many dusty, gently worn books in the bunch. I am not sure who has enjoyed this book more -my son, my husband or myself! The vivid, dramatic illustrations really make the stories come to life! I thought of buying a copy as a gift for my young niece, but see that it is out of print & the prices for used copies seem astronomical....! I don't know that I could bare to part with the copy my friend gave us a decade ago --especially since I realize now that it is a first edition handcover copy published in 1967 --! It's a wonderful treasure of a book that will entise & excite the imagination of young & old. I hope it will be put back into print so it can become available again at a reasonable price.
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