Cover image for Norse mythology A to Z : a young reader's companion
Norse mythology A to Z : a young reader's companion
Daly, Kathleen N.
Personal Author:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Facts on File, [2004]

Physical Description:
xiii, 126 pages; 29 cm.
Alphabetically listed entries identify and explain the characters, events, and important places of Norse mythology.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL850 .D34 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
BL850 .D34 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



This series explores the world's most important myths and legends in an accessible style designed for young readers. Each volume contains more than 400 entries on the major figures, places, stories and themes of a given mythology.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The 400 alphabetically arranged entries in Norse Mythology A to Z include characters (goddesses, giants, heroes, monsters), mythical terms (Niflheim, Midgard, Yggdrasil), myths (Creation, Ragnarok), literary sources (Nibelungelied, Poetic Edda, Prose Edda), and aspects of Scandinavian culture (Maypole, Solstice, Mead). Some entries are no more than dictionary definitions and their inclusion seems unnecessary ("Snake--An elongated, legless reptile of the order Squamata"). The better-known myths are included along with many that are less well known. About 40 black-and-white illustrations add interest. This book is franker in its portrayal of sex and violence than is usual with young people's books on the subject. For example, Freya prostitutes herself to the dwarves, Heimdall populates the world by sleeping with a succession of married couples, and Odin hangs himself from Yggdrasil and humans honor him by hanging human sacrifices. Cross-references are noted within entries by the use of small capital letters. Guide words at the top of each page make the work easy to use. There is an introduction that explains mythology, the Norse, and Norse mythology (including its sources and its chief deities). The book concludes with a very brief selected bibliography for further reading and a fairly complete index. School and public libraries will find Norse Mythology A to Z useful as a reference tool where Norse myths are popular with children of middle school age and up. It is not an essential purchase, however. Storytellers will find the work useful for quick reviews of the myths. Additional titles in this series from Facts On File will cover the myths of Greece and Rome, Africa, the Orient, and native Americans. (Reviewed Sept. 1, 1991)

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Daly's volumes are newly updated with additional entries and new illustrations; the addition of Japanese myths to the series is welcome. Both Greek & Roman and Norse include places, practices, some rituals, objects, and myth sources. Daly is discreet: Cronus is "mutilated," Daphne "pursued." Stories of Jason, Odysseus, Balder, Loki, and lesser-known figures such as Melampus, Otr, and Starkad are briefly retold. Roberts's volume is a concise cultural introduction to Japan: the author explains kana, emaki, calligraphy styles, important historical figures, and periods (inexplicably, Tokugawa Ieyasu has no entry). Again, entire tales are told. Tiny errors-the underworld, Yomi, is confusingly called Youl and Yous, and the description of tanka under waka is incorrect-do not detract from an excellent introduction to Japanese mythology and its culture. Roberts deserves credit for including the sensitive Horse Rider Theory and connecting ancient history and archaeological finds to myths. None of the volumes have genealogical tables, and Greek & Roman and Norse lack the pronunciation help that is so useful in Japanese. Daly omits some alternative Norse spellings, but gives variant Greek and Latin forms in the classical volume. All of the titles include unattributed, undated black-and-white illustrations that are sometimes pedestrian and/or bland. The relatively brief entries will attract browsers. All three books offer fine, and in the case of the Roberts's volume, otherwise scarce, resources.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Praise for the previous edition: This easy-to-use reference book is clearly written and lavishly illustrated...A treasury of will entice users to conduct in-depth research, while its inviting format and clarity will invite browsing. - Book Links School and public libraries will find it useful as a reference tool where Norse myths are popular with children of middle school and up. - Booklist Myths reflect codes of behavior, customs and rites, religious beliefs, and ways of understanding the world that are unique to each people. The Norse--the people of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands--were known for being excellent shipbuilders, navigators, and great explorers, and they maintained strong clan and familial ties of loyalty. The origins of Norse culture and mythology are found more than a thousand years before the Viking Age (780-1070). From this tradition come the exciting tales of characters such as Odin and Thor, dwarves and the Valkyries, and the festive hall of the slain heroes, Valhalla. Norse Mythology A to Z, Revised Edition explores myths and legends in a way that is both accessible and highly entertaining for young people. In clear, vividly written entries on the major figures, places, stories, and themes of Norse mythology, the book reveals to readers the richness of Scandinavian myths. This revised edition of Norse Mythology A to Z features dozens of new and revised entries as well as new illustrations and an updated bibliography. A brief introductory essay recounts the history of the Norse people and illuminates their way of life. Entries define the subject and, for characters, tell the stories surrounding them. With a bibliography, index, and cross-references, this book is an accessible resource and a valuable companion for students learning about mythology or Scandinavian peoples. New entries cover topics including: Gods and goddesses The geography of Norse mythology Shape-shifters and giants Skaldic and eddic poetry Folklore. Excerpted from Norse Mythology A to Z: A Young Reader's Companion by Kathleen N. Daly All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.