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Inanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer Hardcover – Sep 1 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Groundwood; Assumed First Edition edition (Sept. 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0888994966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0888994967
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 17 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 417 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #607,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Kim Echlin has been a documentary-maker, editor and teacher. Her adaptation of the Inanna stories is the result of looking for an ideal myth to tell to her own daughters. Echlin was drawn to this goddess from ancient Sumer because of her strength and sense of adventure, her daring and her final wisdom. Kim Echlin's publications include Inanna (Groundwood Books), Dagmar's Daughter (Viking), Elephant Winter (Viking) and The Disappeared (Penguin). She has been awarded the Torgi Award, and was nominated for the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the National Magazine Award and the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Linda Wolfsgruber is a world-renowned artist who has exhibited her work throughout Europe and in the United States and Japan. She has won many awards, including the Austrian Children's and Juvenile Book Award for Illustration (four times) and the Golden Apple of the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava, and she has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Her striking illustrations appear in many books, including Inanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer, Stories from the Life of Jesus, Brunhilda and the Ring and A daisy is a daisy is a daisy. She lives in Vienna.


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This is a lovely retelling of this ancient story in more modern verse. It appears to have been well researched and is beautifully presented. The illustrations are in keeping of both the style and language of the telling. I highly recommended it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9dbe3c3c) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d91ff78) out of 5 stars Beautiful and accessible April 4 2009
By Ashley Grisso - Published on Amazon.com
Echlin's translation, Inanna: From the Myths of Ancient Sumer, is a gorgeous little book. I bought it because I was looking for a rendition of the Inanna myth suitable for middle-school-aged girls. Despite what other Amazon reviewers' wrote, I thought Echlin's translation would embrace healthy female sexuality and serve as an unusually positive influence for girls coming of age. Though I now believe most parents will find Echlin's account too sexually explicit for a pre-teen audience, older girls and women will likely appreciate the accessible language and lovely illustrations, which present a fierce female character who enjoys the pleasures of sex within the context of marriage.

For those unaware, according to most accounts in Greek mythology, a parallel heroine, Persephone, an innocent girl, was sucked into the underground by being raped. While down below, Persephone grew and matured by enduring hardships and trials, and returned to be in the world for half the year as a more enlightened person. More recently, some storytellers say that Persephone stumbled into hell while picking flowers, which serves as a "cleaned up" version suitable for children.

In contrast, the Sumerian Goddess Inanna chose to explore the darkness below in order expand her consciousness. Inanna was a young married deity who discovered guidance and uncovered wisdom during and after her intentional descent to the underworld. As an ancient goddess, Inanna embodied traits we admire today. She was emboldened to make choices about her destiny, explored and appreciated her sexuality, wisely used her intelligence for good, and willingly undertook adventures and self-discovery. She suffered, as all do, but was not a victim (in Persephone's case, a victim of an uncaring, or some would say cruel, father). Therefore, most contemporary women in the West can more readily identify with Inanna and/or see her as a symbol of positive female strength and empowerment.

I highly recommend Echlin's and Wolfsgruber's work for readers familiar with Sumer's Inanna, and for those who enjoy myths but don't yet know of Inanna's grace. Echlin effectively streamlines language from another time for today's reader without losing the myth's integrity. Wolfsgruber's illustrations corroborate Inanna's journey in fresh, vibrant picture-form, which gives us a glimpse of Ancient Sumer. Really splendid!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d92139c) out of 5 stars Good guide May 12 2012
By Julie P. Ieronymides - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I bought every book I could find on Inanna and this was one of the better ones. Well written and well researched
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d9217c8) out of 5 stars A Great Introduction to Inanna Jan. 10 2014
By Horace Brickley - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book, geared towards young adults and children, is a great introduction to the compelling figure of Inanna. I would recommend reading this and then picking up Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer's "Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth."
HASH(0x9d9217e0) out of 5 stars lively language and beautiful illustrations, but some content inappropriate for children Dec 18 2015
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is absolutely gorgeous: well written (lively language, lyrical and intense) with illustrations that are lovely and clearly a nod to the art of the period.

I bought this as a way to introduce my 5- and 7-year-old boys to Sumerian mythology (they had developed an interest in Ishtar/Inanna courtesy of Zeman's excellent Gilgamesh for kids), and I think this will work well, but will require photocopying the pages I want them to see, as some parts of the story are just not child-friendly at all, and my boys are independent enough readers that they'll pick it up and read everything. Thankfully, the parts that are too much for younger readers are mostly all on the same set of pages and the story will not suffer for leaving out those parts.

(FWIW, I think the non-child-friendly stuff would be fine for older children, say 12 or older, depending on the kid. The sexual content is tasteful, joyous, positive (mostly ... the bulk of the sexual content is between husband and wife, but there is a rape in the story); it's just too much for younger readers. For parents who believe in frank sex. ed., there's a lot here that is eminently discussable. This would NOT be appropriate for parents who believe in not teaching their children about sex.)

I also enjoyed the historical notes provided. If this is being read in the context of a study of ancient culture, there are notes about how the stories were found in bits and parts during excavations, and how some of the details are not necessarily clear because of how clay tablets were found in pieces rather than a whole story in a book.
HASH(0x9d921804) out of 5 stars Great book on describing the myth of Inanna… July 27 2014
By helen - Published on Amazon.com
Great book on describing the myth of Inanna….in a symbolic and well researched way. Great for younger readers as well and empowering for young girl readers.


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