LONGLIST REVIEW: Treasury of Norse Mythology

This book contains the tales of the Norse Gods and Goddesses, their lives, their loves and the world they lived in. From Creation through to Destruction, it brings their stories vividly to life. Alongside the stories are fact boxes which offer additional information about the historical or cultural context. 

The book is lavishly illustrated and puts the myths into their geographical setting. Each story is beautifully re-told, echoing the language of the original sagas and the afterword explains the inconsistencies the author came across when researching the myths and how she dealt with them.

For anyone about to teach about the Vikings, this book is an absolute gem. I am often asked what text could be used to support learning in this area and this would be one which I would recommend. There is so much work that could be based on these re-tellings, right across the curriculum. The fact boxes pick up on things in the stories which relate to things in the everyday life of the people and so could be used to start research in these areas. The story of 'Thor the Greedy', for example, links to 'The Norse Diet'.

Links to stories from other cultures can also be made- Loki, the Viking trickster, could be compared to characters like Brer Rabbit or Anansi. 

There are a wealth of writing opportunities which could come from looking at this lovely book or it could simply be used to introduce a new generation to Norse mythology.

Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love and Revenge

by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Christina Balit

National Geographic     ISBN: 978-1426320989