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3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  205 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
On a warm spring day, the beautiful young goddess Persephone is snatched from her home by Hades, god of the Underworld, and taken away to live underground and become his bride. Persephone's mother, Demeter, goddess of Earth, is so brokenhearted that she curses the land so nothing can grow a permanent winter. / How will Persephone and her mother be reunited? Will spring eve ...more
Hardcover, 25 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Frances Lincoln (first published January 15th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 523)
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Apr 14, 2011 Miriam rated it liked it
Shelves: picture, mythology
As soon as I saw the cover image I wanted this book. It is perfect for the myth: lovely and sad and dark and mysterious. Several other illustrations were also quite striking, especially the one where Demeter's cloak is turning into storm cloud to spread winter over the earth. I like the visual connections the illustrator made between the gods and the natural forces they represent. Those images are the most memorable part of the book, however. The retelling itself was nothing special. In fact, I ...more
Rebecca Ann
This was a stunningly beautiful picture book about the greek myth of Persephone. This has always been my favorite myth, and Hades my favorite god. That may seem odd, but stop and think about it. Hades married one woman, and even though he tricked her, he didn't assault her (in most versions) like just about every other god does to the women who catch their eye. He also shares her with her mother. By comparison he's almost not a terrible person. Anyway, this story can never really be aimed at you ...more
Dec 12, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it
This book retells the fascinating story from Greek mythology of Persephone, the lovely daughter of the Earth Goddess Demeter, who attracted the eye of Hades, King of the Underworld. Hades decided Persephone should be his queen, so he scooped her up and took her down to his kingdom.

Persephone was depressed, and Demeter was angry. The daughter wouldn’t eat, and the mother caused the earth to freeze up and bear no plants. For a whole year, nothing grew:

"It was a year of hunger and misery. It was wi
Jessica Riben
Title: Persephone
Author: Sally Pomme Clayton
Illustrator: Virginia Lee
Genre: Myth
Theme(s): Do not eat food that you are not sure of where it came from, sadness, darkness, liveliness. Seasons (winter to autumn)
Opening line/sentence: Persephone was playing in the fields, running, laughing, and chasing her friends.
Brief Book Summary: (2-3 sentences in your own words)
Persephone is outside picking flowers and playing with her friends, when all of the sudden Hades, the King of the Underworld sweeps he
Mckenzie Marcinek
Apr 23, 2015 Mckenzie Marcinek rated it really liked it
This is a book about Persephone the daughter of Demeter the goddess of growth. Persephone is taken by Hades the goddess of the underworld to be his queen. Demeter is so sadden by this that she turns earth dark and cold. So Demeter has Hermes the messenger of father Zeus, god of the sky to go to the underworld to get her daughter. Hades agrees to send Persephone back but first makes her eat three berries. Once back to earth Demeter explains to Persephone that since she eat the berries she now has ...more
Apr 03, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Clayton, Sally Pomme. Persephone. (2009). An darker telling of the Greek myth of mother and daughter. The kidnapping is serious business in this tale, as Persephone is plucked from the meadow where she is picking flowers, and taken to the underworld by Hades on his chariot of four black horses, leaving her mother Demeter (who is the earth goddess) bereft without her. Persephone is equally miserable in the underworld, and Demeter refuses to let anything grow as she searches for her daughter. At t ...more
Nov 16, 2009 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the text is not my favorite retelling of the Demeter/Persephone myth, the pictures are absolutely stunning. This is the most beautifully illustrated Greek myth since Alan Lee illustrated Black Ships Before Troy The Story of the Iliad by Rosemary Sutcliff.
Oct 26, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it
1. Genre- Traditional Literature
2. Awards- None
3. Grade Level- 3-4
4. I could use this when discussing myths with my students. I could read this myth perhaps with a couple other popular myths that explain why things are the way they are. I could then ask the students to work together and come up with their own myth using the gods we have learned about in Greek mythology to explain an event.
Elissa Schaeffer
The text alone would have earned this no more than 2 stars. But the illustrations raised my overall opinion. As someone else noted, the text is sparse and reads no different than all the other child-friendly stories we've heard on the myth of Persephone. In fact, it reads more like a textbook as there is very little emotion infused in the words. However there is strong emotion in the illustrations and they can very nearly tell the story all on their own. My favorite is the last spread in the sto ...more
May 11, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
A Greek Myth... I hadn't ever heard the story before, and I really liked it! The pictures were quite interesting as well.
And just a tip: if you are ever in a fairytale/myth, in a bad guy's home, do not eat anything. Okay?
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I think this is the best retelling of the Greek myth that I've read yet. Virginia Lee's illustrations, especially of the underworld, are beautiful and haunting. This will have to be ordered for my library's collection!
Not charming, as I was hoping. The story is really bare bones, I would consider it too simplistic for a picture book, it reads like a blurb out of a childish mythology book and yet that is not a good thing. Hades kidnaps Persephone and she is weeping and generally being sad-face, then Hades is all like "you've made me happy, I love you, but if you have to go, I will let you go" and he seems ally guilty and sweet, then of course he tricks her into eating some pomegranate seeds. I just feel that a ...more
This is the story of Persephone. Persephone is abducted by Hades. Her mother, Demeter, is overtaken with sadness, so she makes the earth infertile as punishment for her daughter's absence. Hades is ordered to return Persephone to her mother, and he agress to do so, but not before tricking Persephone into eating three pomegranate seeds first. Persephone is returned to her mother who realizes what has happened. Persephone is doomed to return to the underworld for three months each year. During thi ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Meg rated it really liked it
I reviewed this book here:

4 stars primarily for the beautiful illustrations, which are both classic (inspired by Greek and Roman art) and original (e.g. the way the illustrations use layers of rock and soil to show the barrier between Earth and the Underworld). The story itself is fine but definitely not a feminist retelling. It was kind of weird when the water nymph is all "No one enters here by force!" and then Hades just, well, enters by force. Nice wor
Dec 18, 2015 Melle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Greek myth fans
A lushly-illustrated picture book retelling the Greek mythological story of Persephone and how seasons came to be. Hades looks a little rape-y in the kidnapping depiction, which was an "ick" factor for me as a reader. Recommended for Greek myth fans and people who enjoy Western classical pretty art.
Jan 31, 2016 Angela rated it it was amazing
I don't usually review picture books but this book is a gorgeous retelling of the Persephone myth. The contrast of the underworld with what we fondly call the overworld is so well drawn. The language is descriptive along with accessible. Marvelous.
Sep 11, 2014 Renée rated it it was amazing
Great for teaching young kids about the cycle of the seasons in addition to learning a Greek myth. Striking illustrations. Particularly great for Neo-pagans and homeschoolers and fans of pomegranates. Age 6+
Racheal Paquette
Apr 23, 2014 Racheal Paquette rated it really liked it
I bought this book for my daughter, Persephone, for Easter! I loved reading it to her and looking at the pictures which were beautiful. Such a wonderful book!!!
Delicious Strawberry
The illustrations alone give the book 5 stars. They're beautiful and detailed, lush and filled with color. Heck, the pictures were more interesting than the story... though with the sparseness of the story, just almost any artist could have told a better story with illustrations.

The story itself is lacking, which brings the rating down to a 3. Many parts of the myth have been cut out, and the characters are portrayed as very simplistic. I know this is supposed to be a children's book, but there
Stephanie Klaren
This book would work for middle elementary students learning about Greek Mythology. This story follows Persephone and the reason for the changing seasons.
Aug 02, 2014 Jennette rated it liked it
The drawings were beautiful,the story was short and to the point!! I neither loved this book nor hated it,i liked it abit but felt it needed more.
Aug 26, 2014 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We are a bit preoccupied with Greek mythology right now. We've been reading books from the Goddess Girls and Myth-O-Mania series and our girls (especially our oldest) are enthralled. This was a different, more traditional perspective on the story of Persephone and I was a bit worried that they wouldn't like it without the modern dialogue. But they really liked the story and we loved the illustrations - they are very beautifully detailed and expressive.
Michael Fitzgerald
Nicely done.
Paula Griffith
Jul 18, 2011 Paula Griffith rated it liked it
This is a beautifully rendered book children will want to read just to look at the gorgeous illustrations. However, the story is well written so that readers will understand not only the plot, but will be able to enjoy their experience with myth and the leading characters, Hades and Demeter. The transitions between what is going on in the Underworld and what Demeter is doing as Mother Earth could be a little more smooth. Recommended for grades 3-6.
Oct 18, 2010 Emily rated it liked it
A pretty retelling of the Persephone myth. I read a YA novel last year that was a retelling of Persephone that implied that she fell in love with Hades and Demeter was a bit of an overprotective mother, and I admit, that story has colored my opinion of the traditional tale somewhat. But for kids who are looking for more on Greek myths, this is a fairly straightforward version of the tale.
Sep 19, 2010 pati rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Persephone is carried off to the underworld by Hades, but her mother, Demeter, places a curse of winter on the earth until Zeus allows Persephone to return, which causes spring to come, stipulating that Persephone must return to Hades for three months every year. A continuation of the Greek mythology fad! J398.2
May 22, 2011 Laura rated it liked it
A reliable retelling of the myth of Persephone. The illustrations are well-done and the story is clearly told. A good, but not necessary, addition to school library collections. Recommended for grades 2 - 4 or elementary students interested in Greek mythology.
Melinda Jane Harrison (Girls and Their Goblins)
Very good book. Simple. It's relates the myth to why we have seasons. Art work is divine. A very young child could be read this story and then at winter time, you could use it to explain why winter comes. I love this myth. Note: This is very much a young child's book.
Alexandra Sinkus
Sep 30, 2013 Alexandra Sinkus rated it really liked it
1. Traditional Literature
2. None
3. 3-4
4. I would use it during mythology segment. For an activity I would have each student pick a season and have them draw where Persephone would be during that time (ie underworld during winter/our world during summer)
Jun 10, 2010 Aimee rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
A simplified re-telling of the myth, with a more educational postscript. The illustrations succeed in merging Classically Greek and contemporary elements, though my favorite one is not in the book. (It's the cover!)
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