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In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World
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In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  315 ratings  ·  39 reviews
A thought-provoking collection of twenty-five stories that reflect the wonder and glory of the origins of the world and humankind. With commentary by the author. “A must for mythology shelves.”--Booklist
Hardcover, 161 pages
Published September 25th 1988 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1988)
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(showing 1-30 of 866)
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I read this book of creation stories and cosmogonies from around the world out-loud to my 8-year-old daughter to try and balance out the Christian stories that she is deluged by in American culture. Many children have no idea that predominant western religions did not develop in a vacuum, but are threads in a tapestry of world mythology and religion that is as varied as it is valued by so many different people in different times and climates. We really enjoyed the stories, although some of them ...more
Michelle Pegram
Hamilton has collected creation myths from 25 different cultures and put them in one volume. There are stories from Iceland, New Guinea, Russia, Nigeria, Zambia, Greece, Egypt and Guatemala just to name a few. In addition to this, the creation stories from Judaism and Christianity are included as are stories from two native american cultures, the Huron and the Blackfoot. This variety in and of itself makes this book worth a read. Hamilton also classifies creation myths based on type and give som ...more
Cindy Benabderrahman
This is an anthology of 25 culturally rich creation stories, from all over the world, accompanied by 42 color paintings by Barry Moser, a wonderful introduction placing the stories in an authentic context, and a brief exposition at the end of each story offering insights into the culture of the people from which it came. They are told in a simple voice, complimenting the simplicity of the Oral Tradition. The language is quiet and powerful. "Time was, there were no people on earth." starts
It was the dark illustration of the Egyptian Sun God, Ra that attracted me to this book.

"In The Beginning", who received a Newberry Honor, is an anthology of different creation stories from around the world, as told by Virginia Hamilton. She retells 25 creation stories that are bundled with illustrations that represent them.

More appropriate from grades 3rd-5th, this book lends itself to several reads, comparing and contrasting creation stories, interesting social studies topics and the making
This was a good book. There were creation myths from places I haven’t even heard of and it was interesting. There were also some myths that I have heard of or read about many time and love to hear over and over again. Some of my favorite myths are the myths of the Greek god like Zeus and the Titans. I have heard of Prometheus but I had never actually heard his story. I didn’t get the whole story granted but I know more about him then I ever did before. I also had heard about Pandora’s box but to ...more
Virginia Hamilton retells twenty-five creation myth stories from a variety of cultures. The entire compilation allows the reader to consider the ways each group or culture believe the way the earth and humans were created. Hamilton is clear in her introduction that each of the stories are called myths and that "Myths present themselves as truth and as accounts of actual facts no matter how different these facts or truths may be from our ordinary, 'real' experience. There are myths that are sacre ...more
In the Beginning by Virginia Hamilton is a book that contains many stories of creation from all around the world. There is a total of 25 different stories within this book. In many ways I enjoyed reading In the Beginning because I had never heard any of these creation myths, so it was very interesting learning about what people around the world believe. Also, at the end of each story, the author put a footnote about the origin of the myth. I liked learning the background information. Another thi ...more
This review pertains to the 1988 hardcover edition.

Virginia Hamilton presents 25 multicultural creation stories. Barry Moser’s watercolors depict gods, tricksters, and additionally illuminate concepts, such as Chaos (p. 126).
School Library Journal suggests a 6th grade or higher level. A watercolor painting introduces each story, and additional paintings illuminate ideas within some of the longer retellings. Some commentary, such as an explanation for an
Christina Taylor
In The Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World provides multiple explanations for the origin of life, the universe, and everything as explained by the pre-scientific beliefs of many cultures and traditions. Although this text is bound by space constraints and ease of translation for as Hamilton notes in the introduction not all myths can be “rendered on a level of understanding for many readers,” the author has amassed a representative collection that is marked by her signature clarity ...more
This is a great anthology of creation myths/stories from all over the world. This book was a little disappointing with the lack of creativity and color. As you read through this book you don't see anything that stands out other than having multiple stories in one book. I would recommend this book to teachers to use as a way to begin a unit when teaching world history. I would not, however, have students use this book to read for pleasure or assign them this book.
Rebecca Maidl
I chose this book as my informational selection.

This is a compilation of world creation myths. It is a very interesting and informational book; well written, and has beautiful paintings to accompany each creation myth. I find it intriguing that many cultures from around the world separated by continents, oceans, mountains, and time can have many similar characteristics and yet be all distinct and different from each other.
Cultures’ and religions’ myths featured include: Greek, Jewish, Christia
I loved it! It had many different stories explaining how the world was formed. Each story had a creator. Each story also told how life was formed. There were so many stories that the stories got mixed up in my head. READ IT, IT'S A GREAT BOOK!
I didn't really care for this book. This was an interesting collection of creation stories or myths. Some of these I was familiar with, but others, I had never heard of. I find it fascinating how each myth “explains” how man and life came to earth. While there is an abundance of myths from Africa and North America, I was disappointed to see that no Aboriginal myths were included in this compellation. I enjoyed reading the ones from India and Russia. The one from the Middle East is similar to ano ...more
I enjoyed this book more than I anticipated that I would. For one thing, it included myths from classical mythology, which is the focus of this season's SRC challenge (Winter 2014), and I was delighted to discover some similarities of thought from scattered peoples on how the world began.
This book is a collection of diverse myths from around the world that explain the origins of death, blindness, men, women (and their tempers), dogs, animals in general, fire, etc. I found the stories – which spanned three to five pages – to be lacking. They were interesting concepts, and I think that children would enjoy them, but for me, it was too brief and too bland. For that reason, I was unable to truly appreciate the stories for what they were worth... which is disappointing since I wanted ...more
Scott Williams
I really liked this book on Creation Myths from around the world. That being said, I think that it would only really be very interesting for people who are interested in creation myths to begin with. It takes you on a trip around the world and gives you a glimpse into the minds of people for a time passed in different cultures. I noticed that something that a lot of the stories share is the first creation rebels or challenges the creator, thus the first creation being banished to the underworld. ...more
Mary E R
An nice selection of creation myths from around the world followed by a paragraph about their origins. This books can help students understand why myths were developed and compare and contrast different creation myths from around the world. I break students into small groups and focus on one of the myths and then present it to the class. While the Greek, Egyptian, Christian and Jewish creation myths are all included, I tend to select the myths that are less familiar to the students such as man c ...more
Felicia O'Brien
This book was okay. Some of the stories were interestng while others were almost frightening such as the one called Death the Creator from the Kono people of Guinea. The one that offered the most hope is from the Holy Scriptures. I thought it was interesting to see some of the common threads and the contrast that each story bore, as well as the different belief systems.

1989 Newbery Honor book
Yoon Jin-  ISB
From ancient histories, people were questioning about the creation of the world and the creatures. This book by Virginia Hamilton gives us an idea of how people in the different parts of the world were thinking in back time and how different cultures affected their stories. For the people who are interested in the ancient stories and the cultures around the world, this book is for you.
Great introduction to various world creation myths and thus cultures. The illustrations are fun too. My son enjoys looking at the drawings. The text is pretty simplified.

Some of the author's comments are not super helpful (she comments after each myth), and she is biased toward Christian mythology, though not unexpectedly.

But overall a great addition to our library!
Oct 30, 2009 Huda rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Huda by: Mrs.NJD
Shelves: arabic-books
الكتاب يسرد لنا بعضا من الأساطير التي اختلقها الناس عن بدايات الخلق
وجدت الكثير منها مضحك حقا، لكن كم هو غريب أن نخترع الحقائق ونسلم بها

لابأس بقراءة الكتاب لإشباع بعض الفضول
أما عن نفسي فاتخذته لعبة تخمين
بقراءة الأسطورة وتخمين الشعب
:) نجحت في اثنتان فقط

وأخيرا الحمدلله على نعمة الهداية والإسلام

Ps.Thanx Dr
Gorgeously illustrated and simply written, this book provides an around-the-world tour of creation myths at 30K feet. Best read one a day, with time to ponder and reflect. As an adult, I'd sometimes wish they went a bit deeper, but found that it wasn't all that hard to dig there myself. A wonderful book for young and old.
Daniel R.
I wanted to love this book. The artwork for each story is amazing and concept of the book is wonderful. I just couldn't get past the staccato prose used to tell each creation myth. Even though it's targeted at young adults I expected more flowery storytelling given the grandeur and scope of the myths.
Kimber Tate
Traditional Fantasy

Classroom Use: Good comparison/contrast for study of folktales which most children could relate to. It's possible to use these as models for children writing their own folktales to explain something in nature.
This is an interesting book with twenty-five creation stories from cultures all over the world.
Reading the diverse beliefs of people around the world, both ancient and contemporary, broadens our understanding of others.
Thanks to my husband for sharing one of his childhood favorites with me.
Sep 24, 2008 Sam rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
Fascinating. Great for telling to young folks, or children. Also nice for when you have writer's block; its a very positive source for creativity.
One qualm: Putting the Genesis account last gave it a place of primacy, in an otherwise "culturally relativistic" project.
My oldest sister gave me this gift when I was little. I spent hours staring at the hauntingly beautiful illustrations.
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