I have mentioned time and time again this past year how my two have been reading Viking themed book after Viking themed book after Viking themed book. I thought it was going to be a quick theme for us but it has become much bigger than I ever imagined. And in all of the Viking themed books we have read about characters from Norse Mythology but we have never really understood how everything was set up and how everyone was linked. So I decided it was time to get a proper Norse Mythology book (but a child friendly one).
We went with the Illustrated Norse Myths (Usborne Illustrated Story Collections) (Illustrated Stories). As soon as the book arrived it was a hit. (That is my youngest reading one of the Myths to his older sister)
My son really liked that they start off with a few pages setting out the main characters and realms – this really helped as I must admit I do not know that much about Norse Mythology so I have not been that helpful.
We also discovered a chart showing the Nine Realms at the back of the book – which has also been very popular with both the kids as they like turning to it when they start reading a new Myth so they can get their bearings. (And yes the Names are Interesting)
The Book itself is 279 pages and is divided up into sections and under each section there are three Myths. So after they introduce the main characters and realms the sections are
In the beginning
- Ymir and the Gods
- Odin’s Thirst for Knowledge (the reason why he only has 1 eye)
- The War of the Gods
Stories of Loki
- Loki lends a Hand
- Loki’s Children
- Loki Tricks the Dwarves (where Thor’s hammer comes from)
Stories of Thor
- Thor and the Sea Serpent
- Thor’s Wedding Day
- Thor and the Frost Giant
Stories of the Giants
- Hrungnir Against the Gods
- Thiazi and the Golden Apples
- Lost in the Land of the Giants
The Golden Curse
- The Otter’s Ransom
- Sigurd the Dragonslayer
- Brynhild and the Ring of Fire
The End of the World
- Balder the Invincible
- A new Beginning.
I really like the book because it has helped explain how different characters are linked and the Myths are written in such a way that my 2 kids are totally fine reading them by themselves (well some of the names are really hard to pronounce but we don’t stress over that). I also really like how they have included the extra bits like the Chart of the Nine Realms and information like how some of the Days of the Week come from Norse Characters (LOVED THIS)
We are really enjoying finally getting to grips with some of the Norse Mythology that has been included in so many of the kids fictional stories. And mine are actually so fasinated by all the characters and their antics that we are thinking of doing a big project next year where we compare Norse Myths to Greek Myths and Roman Myths.
We are NOT Norse Myth experts (Not yet anyway, my son might change that soon) but we are really enjoying this book and for us it is ticking all the boxes. The kids and I highly recommend this stunning book.
Disclosure – I found the Norse Myth book that I wanted to read with the kids and then I approached Usborne and requested a review copy. All opinions expressed are that of my two testers and myself
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