________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 1 . . . . September 3, 1999

cover Pegasus, the Flying Horse.

Jane Yolen (Reteller). Illustrated by Li Ming.
New York, NY: Dutton Children's Books (Distributed in Canada by McClelland & Stewart Inc.), 1998.
38 pp., cloth, $24.50.
ISBN 0-525-65244-2.

Subject Headings:
Pegasus (Greek mythology)-Juvenile literature.
Mythology, Greek.

Grades 2 and up / Ages 7 and up.
Review by Joan Payzant.

*** /4


Bellerophon stayed a guest in the palace for many weeks while Pegasus cropped the Tirynian grass outside the high stone walls.

Meanwhile, the queen had fallen in love with the handsome young man. She composed poems and songs about him. One evening, when she found him alone in a darkened room, she even tried to kiss him.

But Bellerophon turned his face from her, for he did not love her, any more that he had loved the women in Corinth. Besides, he was her husband's guest.

"You shall be sorry for this," the queen said in an angry voice. "No man dares treat me so." She left the room and went at once to her husband and told him a terrible lie.

"Your guest - the boy Bellerophon - took hold of me without my permission." She turned her head and pretended to weep.

Pegasus, the Flying Horse, an attractive book in appearance, is written by award winning author Jane Yolen and illustrated by Li Ming whose beautiful oil paintings are found on every page. A good reader or a talented story teller would savor the drama of the myth of Bellerophon who rode on Pegasus to slay the three headed monster, the Chimaera, thereby winning a princess for his bride.
      For readers with less ability and less love of Greek myth, the book will not have as great an appeal. The cast of characters with their foreign sounding names and the unfamiliar place names make for difficult reading or listening. The brilliant illustrations may succeed in holding the attention of those children, but, on the whole, it is a book for a select few. However, in these days when classics are rarely taught, it will be a valuable resource to introduce the subject of mythology. Recommended for children who enjoy myths and whose parents or librarians have the necessary funds for a beautiful book with limited appeal.


Joan Payzant is a former teacher-librarian who lives in Dartmouth, NS.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364