Ebookwormy's Reviews > Pegasus

Pegasus by Marianna Mayer
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Apr 09, 12

bookshelves: history-creation-to-fall-of-rome, fiction, world-europe
Read in March, 2012

Captivating illustrations and an adventure featuring a hero's (Bellerophon's) triumph over a dragon (Chimera) are sure to make this book of interest to boys. The writing, in my humble opinion, was good, but not great, though it did hold the attention of my students.

Those familiar with the Illiad's telling of the story will realize Bellerophon's story has been sanitized for children. Perhaps that is necessary considering a key to Bellerophon's struggle is that he has refused a woman who sought to entice him. This slight of hand is more palatable than that of eliminating Bellerphon and Pegasus's final adventure. After the triumph over the Chimera, Bellerphon's hubris caused him to fly Pegasus over the land of the gods at Olympus. Zeus was angered and struck him down. Bellerphon ended his life as a blind ostracized outcast, while Pegasus was humbled by becoming Zeus' pack horse. Good lessons for little ones, but maybe over their heads?

In the end, this is the story of Bellerphon and Pegasus' first adventure, and it is on the longish side for elementary children. The contextual illustrations expose them to the mystery and beauty of the ancient Greek legend. In my mind, this initial positive experience is enough to compensate for age appropriate editing, especially with students who are boys. 3.5 stars, but I'm putting it down as 4 because I think most teachers/ parents who purchase it aware of these limitations will be happy with it.
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