Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Aphrodite: Goddess of Love, by Geroge O'Connor. First Second, A Neal Porter Book. Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan, Raincoast. 2014. $10.99 ages 10 and up
One the slopes of Mount
Ida, there is a shepherd.
His name is Paris. Find him,
for it will fall to him to
decide which of these three
is the most beautiful.
A mortal shepherd?
To judge three goddesses?
I'm the god of liars for a
Had George O'Connor's Olympians series been required reading for me as an introduction to Greek mythology, I would have paid more attention....and I don't really like graphic novels! I have now read the six published books in this great series. I have a much clearer understanding of Zeus, Athena, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and now, Aphrodite. Each is a great pleasure to read. So, I happily anticipated the arrival of the newest one.
Even Zeus is a tad intimidated when he first meets Aphrodite. She is ethereal, yet powerful, and oh, so beautiful! She need do nothing to capture the attention of every living thing that comes within the sphere of that power. He is aware of the danger that she poses to his leadership. What can he do to stem it? He cannot destroy her, nor can he control her.
The graphic novel format is sure to attract adolescent readers to these stories of the Olympians. The writing gives them a human quality that allows a connection to their world and to their relationships. The conversations are often humorous, and prove that the gods themselves are fallible, subject to the same insecurities that often plague humans. The art is appealing and detailed and is sure to stand up to repeated readings.
Aphrodite's beauty and generosity of spirit are the focus as the Charites share her story. Her arrival is cause for strife that plays out wonderfully as she treats the other goddesses with disdain and often shows her mean streak. Though married, she is full of wanderlust and sure to create chaos wherever she goes. Paris, chosen to make a judgement as to the most beautiful of goddesses is not immune to her power or her bribes. Who wouldn't be interested in Helen of Troy?
This story certainly promises more. We will just have to wait until Mr. O'Connor graces us with his next adventure.