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D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  3,874 ratings  ·  318 reviews
The Caldecott medal-winning d'Aulaires once again captivate their young audience with this beautifully illustrated introduction to Norse legends, telling stories of Odin the All-father, Thor the Thunder-god and the theft of his hammer, Loki the mischievous god of the Jotun Race, and Ragnarokk, the destiny of the gods. Children meet Bragi, the god of poetry, and the famous ...more
Hardcover, 154 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by New York Review of Books (first published 1967)
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The English ABCs of D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths (with one addition and some subtractions) by Miloš & Brontë*:

A -- Alfheim: It's the place where the elves live. There's lots of elves there with bows, and they have long blonde hair and pointy years. The wear archer clothes and stuff.

B -- Balder: The God of Light (is he the God of Light? Maybe he's just goodness. No, he's the God of Light too). He was always happy. He was never mad. He just smiled the whole time. I can't remember a time when h
Richard Derus
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-loved books from my past

Rating: 4* of five

Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire were a married couple of Euro-origin, he Swiss and she Norwegian, who came to the US in the 1920s to pursue fame and fortune. Edgar was an illustrator for books, magazines, and the like, while Ingri painted rich guys' portraits. Came the Depression, oh dearie me...everything got the two collaborated on writing and illustrating kids' books together. For forty-plus years, the couple turned out beautiful, bea
Deborah Markus
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(UPDATE: I'm pretty sure I wrote this review around the time the awesome Loki movies started being released. Way too much focus on his boring blond brother in those, am I right?)

It took me a long time to come around to the idea that the Norse myths could be compelling. Even dating a guy who was crazy about them didn't help. They just seemed so solemn and manly, especially compared to the Greek gods. I could imagine falling into their world. But the Norse names were weird, and the women were utte
Enjoyable, but a bit dry. Lovely illustrations.

However, I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more if I hadn't read it right after reading Gaiman's Norse Mythology since it more or less retells the same tales.
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hey, Mighty Thor fans! You might want to brush up on your Norse mythology before Ragnarok comes to your local theatre, and there's no better way to do that than by rereading the D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths.

I read it as a child (albeit with a slightly different title back then), checking it out from my public library, and I just reread it now in the edition my brother gave my daughter years ago with the new preface by Michael Chabon.

And like Chabon, who also read it as a child back in the '60
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Years ago, I got a copy of D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths from a library sale. And I loved it. That's where my love of mythology, and probably all folklore, started, with that one 50 cent book from a library sale. But this isn't about the Greek myths, it's about the Norse myths.

I'm ashamed that it took me so long to get around to reading the d'Aulaire's treatment of Norse myths. After all, I loved their version of the Greek myths so much. I still tend to picture the Greek gods through their ima
RE de Leon
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
d'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths has the distinction of being the first book I ever bought with the next generation specifically in mind. I was trawling Amazon one day and suddenly recalled a moment when I was ten years old, and I discovered a storybook of Norse myths. I recalled Thor with his eight-legged horse, and odin with his patched up eye and the rainbow bridge to Asgard.

And then I decided I wanted my kids to also have that experience, especially if I have a daughter. (I suppose that's bec
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First off this is a physically beautiful book. Both the illustrations and the actual paper that the book is printed on. This is a children's book and as such is a wonderful quick introduction to Norse Myths without too much violence. One I will be saving to read to children. And for me a great introduction to get me interested in learning more of these myths. ...more
I loved the illustrations and the feel of the pages of this novel. Beautiful.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Again, I'm not even going to pretend to be objective. When I was tiny & wee, I checked this (and their D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths) out from the public library about a million times, and never failed to be mesmerised by their clear prose and their lovely illustrations.

For example ...

(Although when I was reading it, it was called Norse Gods and Giants and I think it had a different cover.)

Yes, this is written for children, so there's probably a lot of ... elision ... going on, but it still manages, in about
Gina Anne
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I love mythology and Norse mythology especially. But, I never really knew the backgrounds and had the familiarity with the norse myths like I do greek and egyptian mythology. I wanted something that simply told the stories of Norse mythology without being technical. I wanted the "fairy-tale-esque" type of story and that's exactly what I got with this book.

Great for introducing children to the myths too!
Aqsa (On Hiatus)
Jul 08, 2019 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Aqsa (On Hiatus) by: Rachel
Good book to start Norse (as Rachel said).
Caroline Lancaster
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At first I was iffy about it, then I grow to like it a bit more more, then I just fell in love with the story!! They were so interesting and I could not put the book down! There isn’t really a plot but it tells little Norse story’s and they all kinda connect but the story’s are either funny, serious or straight up insane! I highly recommend it if you read the whole thing!
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Folklorists, People Who Love Literature and Myth
[Addendum: After posting this review the other day, Mark sent me a comment pointing out that my praise of this book was a bit tepid. I replied that the text seemed a little tame. In any case, I've perused this book again and have to say I was dead wrong. This is as intellectual as a children's book gets and it remains entertaining. There is a fine glossary and, I must say, I now know why I always wished I'd read more than the three or so chapters I read as a child. These myths are given tremendo ...more
Jun 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Because the boys were a lot less familiar with these myths, and because they seemed to be written a bit more densely the text itself was quite a bit less successful for them than the Greek one was, bringing the book down to two stars. Then again, the art is so much better than the Greek one, that we come back up to four stars based on that. And then the authors had to go and staple an explicitly Christian epilogue after Ragnarok which pulled us back down to three stars again.
Rebecca Huston
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book from my childhood with spirited storytelling and beautiful illustrations. Enjoyable for adults as well as children, and not at all dated. Five stars overall.

For the longer review, please go here:
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
the Greek mythology was far more interesting but this book was an ok book for school
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschool
Homeschool book. A delight.
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-in-11, fantasy
Definitely an interesting look into the Norse gods, especially since I have read very little about them until this point. I didn't love the art style, but that's just my own taste.

One thing that still gets to me: I'm baffled how Loki lost one of his bets. He has smiths make golden hair for one of the Aesir wives to attach to her own shorn hair, a spear that always hits its mark, and a boat that sails on the sea and flies over land and is big enough to carry all of the Aesir but is able to be fol
There is so much I did not know about Norse mythology. Somehow, in my school age years where I was so obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, I neglected the Norse myths (but did get around to Ole and Lena jokes, so who knows...). And I'm sort of ashamed to admit that any familiarity I have with these things *probably* comes from "Erik the Viking." That seems simply scandalous.

I liked this as an introduction and I think that it probably covers the basics very well as a series of linked stories
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know very little about Norse mythology, and this children's book came highly recommended. The illustrations were beautiful and it was a great introduction to a world I'd love to learn more about. ...more
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, favorites
I think of this book as having been a sort of landmark in my intellectual development. I discovered it in my school library during my second grade year, and fell in love with it. I checked it out a few times during that year, but one time, I encountered a library aide who didn't want to let me have it. The library was organized by grade level, and we primary kids weren't allowed to check things out from the higher level sections. Eventually my mother had to meet with the librarian, and after tha ...more
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: folklore
I loved the D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths when I was a little girl; I read it over and over and dressed up as Athena one year for Halloween. (This did not go over well in my neighborhood. NO I AM NOT AN ANGEL, SOUTH STREET. I AM THE GODDESS OF WISDOM. Sheesh.) I never even knew that they’d done a similar book about Norse mythology, however, until I read about it in Michael Chabon’s Maps and Legends—so thanks for that, Mike. The D’Aulaires give the northern myths the same treatment, telling the ...more
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How curious that despite the many great kings, wars, and achievements of a bygone civilization, its lowly bards and priests have ensured its immortality through stories and myths.

I read Norse Gods and Giants after I had been introduced to Judeo–Christian mythology by my parents (and the Monticello, AR public school system) and Greek mythology by my father and some excellent children's books, the names of which now escape me. I remember being moved by the stories themselves - the difficult choic
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is probably just as good as D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, which I've bestowed five stars to. But the Greek myths are just inherently more cool than the Norse ones. The Minotaur? Hardcore. Medusa? Hardcore. Loki? Well, yes, Loki is pretty hardcore...and so is Thor...

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm just totally biased. In about 150 gorgeously illustrated pages, the D'Aulaires cover a huge number of the more important myths of Norse mythology. And what is so amazing is how concisely, yet comp
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I lost the 1965 edition of this book which I grew up reading until I had fair memorized it. The illustrations and text were fascinating to me, and I found a more recent copy from Scholastic for my children. I credit the early exposure to Norse Mythology with my comprehension of Grendel in High School, and other, similar texts throughout my college coursework. It was fascinating to me, to compare the darker mythology of the Norse Gods to what I perceived to be the lighter mythology of the Greeks ...more
I read this quickly and not carefully. I just wanted quick answers about who Riordan is talking about in his new book The Sword of Summer. This has a great glossary in the back where you can get summaries of what each god does. The stories in there are pretty good but feel rather repetitive (wars and lies. Of course, you can argue the same for Greek mythology. There it is love and lies). While I haven't gotten my hands yet on two books I just ordered recently on Norse mythology, the D'Aulaire bo ...more
Nov 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
With the popularity of the "Percy Jackson" series featuring both Greek and Roman mythology, I wanted to give this book a try. I did hear that Rick Riordan was going to be writing a book about Norse mythology and I wanted to read up on some of the stories of the Nordic mythological realm. Some of the stories were interesting: Odin, Thor & Loki and others did not capture my imagination. When making new discoveries in mythology it is, interesting to learn about tales from other countries. Interesti ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really really love D'Aulaires' presentation of mythology for children. My early childhood reading and rereading of his Greek myths helped me immeasurably in high school English, giving me a fundamental base for the background that many novelists drew on for their symbolism. I was glad to discover and read this collection of Norse myths and I am hoarding it away to raise my (so far entirely theoretical) children on someday. ...more
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Into the Forest: D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths 13 24 Apr 17, 2017 05:58AM  

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Ingri d'Aulaire (1904-1980) was an American children's artist and illustrator, who worked in collaboration with her husband and fellow artist, Edgar Parin d'Aulaire. Born Ingri Mortenson in Kongsburg, Norway, she studied art in Norway, Germany and France, and met Edgar Parin d'Aulaire when she was a student in Munich. They married in 1925, and immigrated to the USA shortly thereafter, settling in ...more

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