Cover image for Atlantis : the legend of a lost city
Atlantis : the legend of a lost city
Balit, Christina.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holt, 2000.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Recounts the legend of the lost civilization of Atlantis. Includes a note discussing various explanations for the legend.
Reading Level:
750 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.2 0.5 44099.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.9 2 Quiz: 26088 Guided reading level: O.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library GN751 .B27 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
Newstead Library GN751 .B27 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Angola Public Library GN751 .B27 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clarence Library GN751 .B27 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library GN751 .B27 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Eden Library GN751 .B27 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Williamsville Library GN751 .B27 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library GN751 .B27 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A magnificently illustrated retelling of the story of Atlantis--one of the world's most haunting and fascinating myths.

Floating on the emerald sea is a small rocky island belonging to the mighty sea-god Poseidon. Few visit its shores-until Poseidon marries a beautiful woman named Cleito and transforms the island into a rich and fertile paradise, where all things flourish. A magnificent city arises. Poseidon names his perfect island Atlantis. Atlantis prospers and its people live in peace, but as the years pass, Poseidon's descendants start to act less like gods and more like men. When the people incur the wrath of their god, a terrible curse is carried out and the entire island sinks forever beneath the waves.

This retelling of the history of fabled Atlantis is based on Plato's Timaeus and Critias. It features a note by internationally known historian Geoffrey Ashe, who has written extensively in the area of mythology.

Author Notes

Christina Balit has received widespread acclaim for her children's book illustrations. Her childhood in the Middle East influenced many of the Biblical landscapes found in this book. She now lives in the UK.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-5, younger for reading aloud. The story of Atlantis, adapted from Plato's Timaeus and Critias, is not so different from more familiar myths and folktales. Poseidon, god of the sea, wonders how the island dwellers can be so happy with so little. He falls in love with Cleito, and they marry, though no one knows he is a god. But gods don't stay hidden for long, and Poseidon reinvigorates the island, turning it into a lush paradise. He also builds a palace and temples, fountains, and gardens: the people are wise and kind and love peace. Then Poseidon leaves Atlantis and sleeps in the sea. Slowly, the people lose their tranquillity, become dangerous, and yearn for power. Angry, Poseidon sends a tidal wave that destroys Atlantis in a night and a day, sinking the city to the ocean floor. The text is rather staid, but the illustrations, taking their cue from classical Greek art, splash over the pages, brilliant in design and color. Balit captures the elemental forces that create Atlantis and then destroy it in swirls of lines, bursts of sea and sky hues, and fires of yellow. In between, she magnificently portrays Atlantis, with architectural shapes and intricate patterns, all burnished with gold. Sometimes reminiscent of Jane Ray's work, the art is quite sophisticated, especially as it portrays the landscape. Flowers, trees, mountains, even stones, are all exquisitely detailed, as are the animals and birds that roam throughout. A note by an authority on Atlantis sorts out the truth and fancy of the enduring legend. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Stylized, intensely colored and highly detailed illustrations dominate this interpretation of Plato's myth of the lost city of Atlantis. Balit (Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations) gracefully retells the story, beginning with Poseidon's love for the island girl Cleito, and lingering on his transformation of the island into a paradise. Over time, the people change: "the godlike part of their souls faded and their mortal, human natures took over." When their ambition and lust for power lead to strife, Poseidon plunges the city deep under the sea. Balit's three-quarter-spread illustrations nod at ancient Greek figure painting with their severe profiles and geometric motifs. Her sumptuous palette and her busy, almost psychedelically patterned compositions, meanwhile, reflect a contemporary sensibility. Elaborately scaled mermaids' tails undulate against curving waves, the ripples of the sea delineated in curls of white dots; fantastically colored birds dart over a fecund jungle. Gold-ink embellishments heighten the decorative element, drawing readers into the seemingly endless detail. Children intrigued by the story will like the endnote by Geoffrey Ashe, who describes various theories about a historical Atlantis. Ages 4-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-6-Through luminous illustrations and simple prose, Balit lures readers to Plato's legend of Atlantis. Poseidon, ruler of the water, falls in love with Cleito, a happy maiden on a small, rocky island. They marry, he transforms the island into a paradise, and she bears five sets of twin sons. Their descendants intend to rule the lands in accord with Poseidon's laws of peace, but throughout time become less godlike, prompting Poseidon to create a forceful storm that drives Atlantis to the bottom of the sea. Whimsical, buoyant images depict the sea and her creatures; raven and henna-haired Greek characters are painted in profile; tiny figures stroll hand in hand throughout palatial splendor during Atlantis's glory days, fighting amid ruins during the decline. Boldly colored illustrations extend the text with pleasing design covering three quarters of each double-page spread. An afterword by British historian Geoffrey Ashe mentions some of the theories associated with the myth. As a read-aloud to early elementary students, or a read-alone for older students, this picture book will captivate a new generation of children intrigued with the mysteries of this timeless legend. Holly Wallace's The Mystery of Atlantis (Heinemann Library, 1999) offers theories of the island's possible existence and location.-Laura Scott, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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