In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World

by
3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  220 ratings  ·  34 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, 176 pages
Published September 25th 1988 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1988)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 651)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
SUMMARY
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...more
Allison
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
N_hannahkang
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
Heather
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
L12_markmesserly
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). http://www.moser-pennyroyal.com/moser....
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...more
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
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...more
Oliver
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!
Angie
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
Torzilla
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
Cassidy
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.
Heather
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!
Huda
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
والآلهة
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
Christopher
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.
Naomi
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.
Pam
Thanks to my husband for sharing one of his childhood favorites with me.
Sam
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.
Nathan
One qualm: Putting the Genesis account last gave it a place of primacy, in an otherwise "culturally relativistic" project.
Sarafina
My oldest sister gave me this gift when I was little. I spent hours staring at the hauntingly beautiful illustrations.
Charlotte
An interesting look at 25 creation myths from around the world with short explanations after each.
Leah
Great book for reading out loud to kids. Includes a variety of creation stories from different cultures.
Nojood Alsudairi
لا أعلم عن سر الأساطير والعنكبوت
عدد من الحكايات هنا تربط العنكبوت بالخلق
قراءة خفيفة ليوم ممل
Beth
Creation myths from many cultures to read aloud and tell. Good collection of archetypes.
Lafcadio
Jan 14, 2008 Lafcadio rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Carlos, the Pea Pod Man
Recommended to Lafcadio by: Ms. Healy
We did skits of these stories in 6th grade. Found the book again later. Good stuff, yo.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 21 22 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sugaring Time
  • The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane
  • Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens
  • A Fine White Dust
  • Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun
  • Graven Images
  • The Noonday Friends
  • Anpao: An American Indian Odyssey
  • Annie and the Old One
  • The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural
  • After the Rain
  • Shadrach
  • Tree of Freedom
  • Upon the Head of the Goat: A Childhood in Hungary 1939-1944
  • The Golden Name Day
  • Figgs & Phantoms
  • Downright Dencey (Young Adult Library)
  • What Hearts
M.C. Higgins, the Great The House of Dies Drear The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales The Girl Who Spun Gold Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush

Share This Book