When the world began, lush forests and cool ponds were created all over the Earth. A goddess, Gaia, constructed everything. It was peaceful and perfect, but not for long. 

This story presents an environmentalist and feminist perspective on the  life of Greek goddess, Gaia. These two authors have taken a lot of artistic freedom to weave together a new version of her. In the original Greek mythology, this tale contains a lot of brutal circumstances of murder, incest, and pretty cruel events. In this version, her story is very much simplified. Serious scenarios are lightened by other characters, such as the three sisters, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. These three pop onto the sidelines of panels and make humorous little comments as the story follows along with Gaia’s husband and her many children’s adventures. Chapters divide up major events, making it more clear for the reader which set of characters are going to be focused on, as there are a lot to keep track of. Like the first installment in this series, we start off with an overview of who all the major gods, goddesses, demigods, and mortals are and conclude with a glossary and bibliography.

This is another beautifully put together piece in this growing collection of tales of Greek Goddesses. It follows the same style as the first book that came out in this series, Athena. The pages are simple with full color drawings and a large variety of different panel styles. Full page graphics zoom in on important and often dramatic plot points with a scattering of a little bit of text to go along with it. The text is a bit on the small side, which should be fine for young readers with good eyes, but it was a little difficult to read it all the way through without feeling like I was straining a little at the end. 

Overall, this book is more like a work of art than a non-fiction history text. The pages are beautifully illustrated with minimal text. It’s printed on quite thick paper, making it appear like a larger book than it actually is. This is a very quick read. It would be a nice addition to any elementary or middle school library, but not essential. I wish it was longer, had more historical details, and used a larger easier to read font. 

Tales of Great Goddesses: Gaia Goddess of Earth
By Imogen Greenberg
Art by Isabel Greenberg
Amulet Books, 2022
ISBN: 9781419748615

Publisher Age Rating: 8-12

NFNT Age Recommendation: Easy Readers (5-9), Middle Grade (7-11)

  • Kendra

    | She/Her

    Reviewer

    Kendra Perkins has worked at libraries in Canada, the U.A.E., China and South Korea where she has been everything from Founding Head Librarian to volunteer. She was Ambassador of China for the International Librarians Network, and she was elected to be Coordinator for the Shanghai Librarians Network (SLN), which is a community of almost 100 library professionals from more than 20 schools. She has completed her ALA accredited Masters in Library and Information Studies program at the University of Alberta. She has traveled to over 90 countries, learned to speak basic Mandarin Chinese along the way and kept up with too many graphic novel series to keep count. She has led workshops, created webinars and done library consultations in fun places like Italy and Hong Kong. She has been a guest blogger for multiple technology and education related websites and is a published book reviewer for Urban Family magazine. Find out more at her website, which she should update more frequently: http://www.theinspiredlibrarian.com

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