Cover image for The bronze cauldron : myths and legends of the world
The bronze cauldron : myths and legends of the world
McCaughrean, Geraldine.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : M.K. McElderry Books, 1997.
Physical Description:
130 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.0 5.0 82577.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1.M144 BR 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PZ8.1.M144 BR 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
PZ8.1.M144 BR 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PZ8.1.M144 BR 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.M144 BR 1997 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This bronze cauldron of twenty-seven myths and legends from around the world contains a diverse assortment of tales such as the Indian legend of the young Buddha; the Jewish legend of the giant Golem sent to protect the Jewish people from their enemies; the Mayan myth of the monster with emerald teeth; the Roman legend of the ill-fated lovers, Cupid and Psyche; and the German legend of Doctor Faust.

Author Notes

Geraldine McCaughrean was born in Enfield, England on June 6, 1951. She was educated at Christ Church College, Canterbury. She has written more than 160 books and plays for children and adults.

Her writing career includes the retelling of such classics as One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, The Canterbury Tales, and The Bronze Cauldron: Myths and Legends of the World, which is a collection of stories from all over the world. She has received numerous awards including three Whitbread Children's Book Awards for A Little Lower Than the Angels, Gold Dust, and Not the End of the World. She also received the Guardian Prize and Carnegie Medal for A Pack of Lies, the Beefeater Children's Novel Award for Gold Dawn, the Michael L. Printz Award for The White Darkness, and the 2018 Carnegie Medal for children's and YA books for her middle-grade novel Where the World Ends.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-6, younger for sharing. "Taru took his lightning in one hand and his thunderbolt in the other and went out to fight the dragon Illuyankas . . . a mountain range of a monster, armored with scales as large as oven doors, and green as the mold that grows on graves." So opens this third collection, following Golden Hoard (1996) and Silver Treasure (1997), of brief, resoundingly retold folk and sacred tales from world cultures, ancient and modern. In her laconic endnotes, McCaughrean seldom cites sources and admits to making changes great and small--but children will relish hearing or reading her versions of the birth of Taliesin, Faust's rise and fall, a Viking legend of the founding of London, the Golem's rampage, the romance of Cupid and Psyche, Gautama's youth, and 21 more. Between the Hittite creature feature quoted above and a final cautionary tale of Romany origin, the mood ranges from reverent to sly, and the cast includes a fine array of monsters, gods, spirits, animals, and capable women. It's a spectacular gathering, to which Bee Willey's elfin paintings, as intense of hue as stained glass windows, add just a suggestion of each tale's setting. --John Peters

Publisher's Weekly Review

As this book's title might lead readers to hope, the talented McCaughrean and Willey team (The Golden Hoard; The Silver Treasure) indeed serves up a tantalizing brew of storytelling, magic and spice. McCaughrean gathers 27 tales from nearly as many cultures and gives them her own special polish. From her dramatic accounts of Doctor Faust signing his soul over to the Devil, to the clandestine romance between Cupid and Psyche, to an Indian legend about a vicarious trip around the world, McCaughrean covers a broad range of themes and tones. Her careful descriptions evoke exotic lands and characters, while her easygoing, fluid writing and frequent flashes of humor make this collection eminently readable as family or classroom fare. Willey's predominantly dark, surreally hued paintings appear as both smaller spot illustrations and full-page works throughout. Such mythical beasts as dragons, witches, mermen and dancing fish populate her diverse scenes. As a clever design element, Willey includes a boldly patterned bar-shaped graphic beneath the title of each tale, hinting at its cultural flavor. A collection to relish. Ages 10-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Another collection of stories from around the world by the successful team that gave readers The Golden Hoard (1996) and The Silver Treasure (1997, both McElderry). Here McCaughrean delivers 27 myths and legends that show the dark side of humanity bubbling to the top of the cauldron of life. Some tales are familiar, such as "Cupid and Psyche" and "The Golem"; others, such as "Sun's Son" from Tonga, introduce new territory. Though dark, the tales often shed light on emotions and actions of the characters, leaving readers satisfied and thoughtful. The writing is clear and engaging while the illustrations deftly pick out details of the stories and bring them to light, placing the tales visually within a cultural context. Useful notes provide information on the selections and complete the volume. Alone or accompanying the earlier titles, this book will delight folktale enthusiasts, enhance multicultural studies, and bring pleasure to those who just like a good story.-Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.