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The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

(Early Earth)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  6,709 ratings  ·  945 reviews
A beautifully illustrated book of imaginary fables about Earth's early -- and lost -- history.

Before our history began, another -- now forgotten -- civilization thrived. The people who roamed Early Earth were much like us: curious, emotional, funny, ambitious, and vulnerable. In this series of illustrated and linked tales, Isabel Greenberg chronicles the explorations of a
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published October 3rd 2013)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,709 ratings  ·  945 reviews

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Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth 3-- bookspoils
This book contains many stories, big and small, about and pertaining to the following things: Gods, monsters, mad kings, wise old crones, shamans, medicine men, brothers and sisters, strife, mystery, bad science, worse geography, and did we already mention true love?

I've had my sight on this graphic novel for nearly a year, so I was sad to see myself barely pushing through it now. The set up for The Encyclopedia of Early Earth sounded right up my alley, but the execution turned out to be les
Peter Derk
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I get very nervous when the library world is all atwitter over a graphic novel. 9 times out of 10, it's something that has a very prose-y narrative and usually confronts some sort of issue of difference. Someone living life as a deaf, gay, conjoined twin with a very serious synaesthetic disorder. Something like that.

I'm not shitting on those types of writers or their books. Some of those books are great. Some of them are not. But what I notice is that certain review outlets tend to strongly favo
Well, this was an incredible journey!

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth is a story about stories. It's a story about a Storyteller and his lovely adventures discovering Early Earth. I very much enjoyed these stories within stories, the concepts and the very interesting art work.

A long time ago, two people met and fell in love.

But there was one tiny problem. They could not touch each other at all.

So, the boy who was a very great Storyteller in his land told the girl stories about his life which like
I found this really dissapointing, the illustrations are very good, so detailed, a very interesting style, beautiful colours and very skilful but I found the plot rambling and in places boring and a hotchpotch of myths, stories and legends. The title as many people and even the blurb points out is misleading. I really liked the idea of the book and I really liked the handwritten font. In places the book felt like it was purposely trying to be far out and to shock, other places it was quite nice. ...more
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
This graphic novel is one I have owned for years without feeling quite in the mood to read it. The other night I was reading a truly dark and heavy book which really brought my mood down, and I thought it was finally time to give this one a go to bring my mood back up. I was so right, and this book did just that and more making me happy and excited whilst reading and learning about the truly bizarre but wonderful world of Early Earth.

This storyline follows two lovers who meet at the beginning of
Really loved it. Definitely my favourite read of the year so far and definitely the best graphic novel I've ever read (though I've not read many) - it was just so lovely and entertaining.

The illustrations weren't anything spectacular but they suited the tone of the story well. I adored all the stories within stories, they were all done so brilliantly, I was hooked on the little made up mythologies and various small but epic adventures the MC went on. It was funny, charming, and rather bitterswe
Emma Sea
Completely charming. Wonderful illustrations, especially the use of color. Every detail of the stories within stories enraptured me. The world of kiddos hair! The mapmaker's monkeys! South Pole woman and Nord man! This is my new favorite mythology. I got this out from the library, but have now ordered my own copy to keep. ...more
Hannah Garden
The first few pages in, I felt like I was going to looove this. It's just beautifully put together, from the sparing, elegant use of muted color in the woodcut-like artwork to the charming font made from Greenberg's handwriting, and the narrative style is wonderful--equal parts clever and sweet, qualities not always easily paired.

This is a collection of loosely connected stories--all mythical or myth-like in nature, many of them retellings of tales from the Bible and the Odyssey--told by a wand
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
I can’t put my finger on why, but I liked this much better than The One Hundred Nights of Hero. Both have gorgeous artwork and feature stories within stories within stories, but the humor in The Encyclopedia of Early Earth landed with me a lot more (although sometimes there were moments that I could tell would be much funnier for a Brit). I also found some of the turns of phrase in here truly enchanting. These tales are a mix of references to the Bible, to ancient Greek and Scandinavian gods, an ...more
Resh (The Book Satchel)
Brilliant. Read both books by Isabel Greenberg. you wouldn't regret even a single page. ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm so confused about how everyone is drooling all over this book. I thought it was so boring! Or, no, not exactly boring; I think more that the book doesn't quite know what it wants to be, and so is halfway a lot of things but not really committed to any. That probably doesn't make a lot of sense. #sorrynotsorry

So what I mean is that this book is basically a series of vignette-y myth-y fables. It's not really an encyclopedia—it's much too short for that. And it's not really a series of shorts b
Dave Schaafsma
Eisner award nominations came out and this beautiful book and its artist are all over these award noms. But I have had this book around for three weeks and do not finally love it. It does not really move me. Might just be a mood I'm in. And part of it is that I am not a real mythology guy (anymore. I read my Edith Hamilton long ag0).

Early Earth features gorgeous wood-cut like art and terrific colors, all inviting comparisons to early Inuit and Nordic and Biblical art and myths. Many of the myth
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
A gorgeously drawn, cannily structured graphic novel about stories, beginnings and true love, with poisoned sausages and appendices.
Ankita Chauhan
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best storytellers knows all the old tales
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somehow disappointed in how beautiful illustrations and praiseworthy stories have been strung together in a note of carelessness that made me unable to appreciate it in its entirety- worth a read nevertheless.
A delightful story about the power of stories and oral tradition.

Familiar archetypes with new faces, pulling from First Nations, Homerian, and Biblical mythology (and maybe even a little George R.R. Martin?) to create a delightful story-within-a-story of humans and gods.

The eagle-headed BirdMan is Master of the Universe, and his two Raven children - Kid and Kiddo - play cosmic games, creating planets and inhabiting them for fun. Kiddo, the Raven girl goddess creates "the world" and gives life to
Liz Janet
“In the beginning there was nothing, only time. But since there was no one to count the time, there might as well have been nothing. And then there was an egg. Don't ask how it got there, OK.”

I should've loved this. The quotes where there, the art was there, the myth was there. Yet, the combination did not work for me at all. Perhaps it was that I've read so much myth that a re-imagined one did not impact me. Or that the opaque colours did not make for my favourite art. But somewhere along those
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely comforting and quick read.

Because it's a big book with pictures it reminded my of reading The Lorax over and over as a child many moons ago!
It's not in any way a similar story but how it made me feel was comparable.

It's very funny and imaginative and absolutely brilliant for a cosy one reading sitting - the title adequately describes the content - highly recommended.

Just like The Lorax it has a lot to say about the nature of people in the guise of a great story/stories.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
It was cute, but I kinda missed the point of it all...?
I liked this, and the art is beautiful (to no one's surprise), but I feel like I needed a more solid overarching plot to tie all these stories together. ...more
Ander LG
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What do Greek, Scandinavian, Jewish and Christian mythologies have in common? That none of them seem to exist in Early Earth, but actually they all do, conforming the history of the lands of Nord, Britanitarka, the Bavelian Empire and the South Pole. And above all, watching them from the Cloud Castle, the Eagle God BirdMan and the Ravens, his children, Kid and Kiddo.

Let us, then, enter the worlds of

Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So good! I love the art and use of color, the stories, and the mix of “old” tales with modernized dialogue. Hilarious and beautiful.
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Visually this was exactly what I like in a graphic novel and the whole book was beautifully put together. A perfect gift. The story? It started out fantastically and though it didn't exactly disappoint, my enthusiasm did peter out. I agree with others that it seemed like a mashed together collection of short stories and retellings of myths. That's exactly what it was and consequently it felt a little disjointed, but for the most part it worked as a whole. I'm torn between rating it 3 or 4 stars, ...more
I was caught under the spell. Started late late late at night and kept thinking I’d put it down to get some sleep, but keep going, drawn by the narrative of stories merging into other stories which all seemed familiar because based on familiar ancient tales,only told with a unique twist. Love the unique artwork too, which looks like rough linocut or woodcut printmaking style of line work which has also been compared to Kate Beaton’s work, best known for “Hark, a Vagrant!”. Not at all an encyclop ...more
A unique anthology of possible early earth

I like the drawings and limited colour palette used in the art. The font (rosemary maybe) was a little too difficult to read. I get that old tales look better in strange type but some eyes have problems reading the font. Otherwise the coke tales were fantastic and The Bird Man and his children were great.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Encyclopedia of Early Earth”, is a carefully told and beautifully drawn graphic novel, about one boys journey from the North Pole to the South Pole. Fantastical stories are woven throughout by taking biblical references and twisting them to fit a fantasy like story. This graphic novel is heavily about storytelling and true love. I really enjoyed it!
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Well, this was a delightful read, all the more so since I'd never heard of Greenberg before giving it a try. The story is a rather meandering, or multi-branched, perhaps, admixture of fable, myth, parable, and humour, in which Greenberg invents an early human civilization, predating ours, but which anticipates and echoes ours in various ways--sometimes fairly overtly, as in its take on the Odyssey or on some Biblical stories (e.g. Noah, the Tower of Babel). The peoples and their stories resemble ...more
Elizabeth A
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-ya, graphix, 2015
Book blurb: Before our history began, another now forgotten civilization thrived. The people who roamed Early Earth were much like us: curious, emotional, funny, ambitious, and vulnerable.

If you are fan of myths and fairy tales, I'd highly recommend this lovely graphic novel. The stories are fun, and the art wonderfully folk artsy (is that a word? Is now).

This is the story of a storyteller, his creation, his travels and adventures, and his search for a missing part of his soul. And what is a que
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A few years have gone by since I first picked this one up. Having just reread it, I’m reminded about how awesome it really is! The artwork looks a bit like linoleum prints, with clean lines and solid colors. The general story and world-building surrounds a alternate retelling of how the Earth came to be, which is quite well written. I didn’t pick up a single comic book until I was into my thirties and due to its popularity at the time, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth was one of the first ones I ...more
This is a beautifully illustrated collection of traditional folk stories from the earliest civilizations and cultures from around the world told through the fireside stories of the storytellers. The language didn't seem to quite fit with the age and style of the stories however the illustrations more than made up for this taking the reader on a journey through the seas and lands of early Earth, including one or two that may seem a little familiar from later story collections. ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg 1 17 Jan 26, 2015 12:01AM  

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