➵ In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World Read ➼ Author Virginia Hamilton – Motyourdrive.co.uk

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10 thoughts on “In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World

  1. says:

    I read this book of creation stories and cosmogonies from around the world out loud to my 8 year old daughter to try and balance out the Christian stories that she is deluged by in American culture Many children have no idea that predominant western religions did not develop in a vacuum, but are threads in a tapestry of world mythology and religion that is as varied as it is valued by so many different people in different times and climates We really enjoyed the stories, although some of them were as strange on first read as the stories of the Bible and western myths must feel to children from other cultures Going through all the stories was actually a riveting experiment in exchanged perspective, and the disorientation caused by the change lasted long enough for us to go back to our own stories and sense afresh the vagueness, monstrosity, and incoherent variety H.G Wells of the western gods I thought it was especially beneficial to have the Bible story of Eden placed at the end of the book as a way to say, And now, doesn t this story seem to have much in common with the stories of antiquity and early thought than you had realized Brilliant In addition to being understandable by old and young alike, the stories were very well spaced temporally and geographically, and mixed together an excellently artful and balanced pastiche of creative human narrative At the end of each story, updated with modern language but loaded still with rich and incomprehensible imagery, there was a nice little paragraph about the story and its cultural setting and significance that helped explain elements of the tales that would have passed us by My daughter and I read this together at bedtime every night, and we made it fun by taking an atlas and a globe and looking up the country of origin for each story It was very educational, and we learned about mythology, religion, history, anthropology, geography, globes and atlases cartography than we ever imagined we would It even inspired an idea in me to help other families guide their kids along a similar tour of origin stories from around the world, and I have already taken it to the interfaith group in our city which has granted me a hearing.I am reminded of the words of George MacDonald who believed in the value of understanding the worlds that exist in other people s minds, If you understood any world besides your own, you would understand your own much better I want my children to understand their world, and the people that make up their world I want them to develop a profound appreciation for the survival and bravery of other peoples, and the indestructible spirit and hope that have caused other cultures to endure I want them to believe in the power of the creative instinct that lies deep within us, to learn to harness the power of imagination to solve problems and simulate alternatives, and to understand the significance of narrative identity in human minds which weaves together the happenings of our lives into a cohesive whole which gives us a sense of direction We miss so much when we close ourselves off from the rest of universe and the complex beings who inhabit it I recommend this book, and books like it, to everyone who has grown accustomed to the same stories, with the same morals, preaching the same fear of the unknown Sapere aude Like this review Clicking like lets me know someone s reading For reviews, visit my blog, www.bookburningservice.blogspot.com


  2. says:

    Hamilton has collected creation myths from 25 different cultures and put them in one volume There are stories from Iceland, New Guinea, Russia, Nigeria, Zambia, Greece, Egypt and Guatemala just to name a few In addition to this, the creation stories from Judaism and Christianity are included as are stories from two native american cultures, the Huron and the Blackfoot This variety in and of itself makes this book worth a read Hamilton also classifies creation myths based on type and give some information about the culture from which the creation story comes There are Two main reasons that I gave this book three stars even with the weight of the positives mentioned above First of all, Hamilton puts all of the information about the culture of the creation stories at the end of the story rather than the beginning As I was reading the stories, I found myself flipping to the end of each story so that I could read the story with the knowledge of its origin The second major drawback is that the illustrations included, though interesting and captioned in order to show how they connected to the story, did not add to the understanding or communication of the story They did not have the life of the stories and, even with the captions, were not always clearly connected to what I was reading Despite these drawbacks, this book is worth reading and using in the classroom With some pre teaching for each creation story and some creativity in presentation maybe tracking country of origin on a map or finding culturally relevant images to add to the story there is wonderful material in this book with which to work The book is recommended for grade 7 and up, but if they are read aloud, the stories may be appropriate for upper elementary grades as well.


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  4. says:

    SUMMARYThis is an anthology of 25 culturally rich creation stories, from all over the world, accompanied by 42 color paintings by Barry Moser, a wonderful introduction placing the stories in an authentic context, and a brief exposition at the end of each story offering insights into the culture of the people from which it came They are told in a simple voice, complimenting the simplicity of the Oral Tradition The language is quiet and powerful Time was, there were no people on earth starts the Eskimo story of The Pea Pod Man Raven the Creator And it goes on to tell how the first man grew on a vine, and of the Raven s gift to man how he made a woman from clay with watercress for hair, who came to life with a flap of the Raven s wings This sacred story ends on a satisfying note, with The world prospered With uncomplicated language and straightforward prose, all of the stories are delightful and thought provoking for children, adding to the old conversation of Where We Came From EVALUATIONHamilton s collection is culturally rich, and her retellings of these old stories are accompanied with insightful comments After the telling of the Maidu Indian story, Turtle Dives to the Bottom of the Sea Earth Starter the Creator, Hamilton offers, Creation myths do not always give reasons for the way people are or the manner in which things happen She goes on to say that sometimes we do not know the importance of people or events, or why something happens It simply happens, and we have to accept that it does without explanation Some might not like the way women are portrayed often the cause of trouble, or there to be man s helper or companion , but Hamilton s treatment is true to the traditional stories, and I don t think she has anything for which to apologize here.


  5. says:

    This is a great collection of specifically just creation myths from many cultures The index is just lacking the culture of origin for each story The reader has to read the myth and see the note at the end to see where the myth is from It would be easier to have the origin of the myth noted by each story in the index in case the reader is trying to find myths from a certain culture If a reader is simply trying to learn creation myths, this a great book for that Each story contains one or two illustrations, but they do not necessarily add to the comprehension of the story For example, there are a few illustrations with subtitles that just say woman and deer and thunder and lightning which are not at all essential for readers to comprehend what they are reading The notes at the end of each story do tell a little bit about the culture like where they came from or if their other myths are about the same topics This book would have to be used with older readers maybe 4th grade through middle school The illustrations are not very inviting and I could see many students getting bored with the book if they are not as interested in mythology.


  6. says:

    I ve always found myths to be fascinating, and even though this book is aimed at younger readers, the bones of the stories are still there Also, a collection of stories around a particular theme like this is even interesting to me, because you start to see some common themes emerging, even though the originating cultures were separated by significant amounts of time and space A few of the creation stories here were familiar to me obviously the Biblical accounts, and also parts of the Norse and Greek myths , but most were not, and I appreciated the way this book included both well known creation stories and much obscure ones.


  7. says:

    The stories in this book are simply told and easy to read I would have liked information regarding the cultural context and origins of each myth, and how some might have influenced others, but perhaps that is best left for another book This compilation is good for a basic introduction as it seems to have been intended.


  8. says:

    Read for the 2019 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge Read a book of myths


  9. says:

    Title In The Beginning Creation Stories from Around the WorldAuthor Virginia HamiltonIllustrator Barry MoserGenre MythTheme s Creation, CultureOpening line sentence Time was, there were no people on earth The first man still lay inside the pea pod Brief Book Summary A collection of myths that has no boundaries and are from all regions of the world for all to enjoy Professional Recommendation Review 1 Publisher s WeeklyAccording to PW , Moser s watercolors gleam like jewels amid the setting of the text His people and creatures gaze out at readers, as if to challenge their imaginations to comprehend the chaos before creation Professional Recommendation Review 2 CCBC Cooperative Children s Book Center Choices, 1988 Hamilton s extraordinary skill in retelling each of 24 creation myths on a level of understanding for many readers while still retaining each account s cultural specificity results in an entertaining and enlightening anthology Working with a theme which can be highly sensitive on several levels, Hamilton s succinct interpretative comments follow each account of how humans around the globe envision their world s creation Moser s 42 paintings complement the tales wonder and mystery and are reproduced in full color The overall book design, typography and page layouts as well as the author s opening and closing notes and sources list contribute to the success of a stunning volume.Response to Two Professional Reviews I agree with the reviews These myths are heavy topics that require children to use their imagination They must respond to these stories about creation and topics we do not have the answers to I also thought the illustrations were powerful and went along with the stories Evaluation of Literary Elements The stories are easy to follow as the characters are described well The stories are accessible for children even though they are difficult topics They require children to employ literary knowledge and they will be able to get a lot out of these myths Consideration of Instructional Application I think comparing and contrasting different versions of the myths will be useful Or, just comparing myths that are significantly different or somewhat similar across cultures Either way, I think these myths will be beneficial to children of all cultures to learn and read about.


  10. says:

    This review pertains to the 1988 hardcover edition.Virginia Hamilton presents 25 multicultural creation stories Barry Moser s watercolors depict gods, tricksters, and additionally illuminate concepts, such as Chaos p 126 http www.moser pennyroyal.com moser School Library Journal suggests a 6th grade or higher level A watercolor painting introduces each story, and additional paintings illuminate ideas within some of the longer retellings Some commentary, such as an explanation for an unusual term, is included A brief description of the origins of the myth follows each story An extensive list of additional resources is included at the end of the text.Numerous opportunities exist for classroom use Younger students K 3 may retell a favorite myth from a collection Small groups may enact the play for the class Since this text skews toward older students, grades 4 and higher may create graphic organizers, such as Venn diagrams Oral or written reports might focus upon why certain themes appear cross culturally, or address similarities in how characters appear, act, or change in respect to a moral lesson within the tale This reviewer did not detect inappropriate, controversial, or didactic material Other texts to explore might include Mammals Who Morph The Universe Tells Our Evolution Story ISBN 1584690852 , a picture book suited to younger readers grades 2 4 studying creation myths This may involve controversy as it references evolution Junior high or high school students may find J F Bierlien s Parallel Myths ISBN 0345381467 , of interest, as it offers cross cultural comparisons In the opinion of this reviewer, the extensive list of additional resources concerning creation myths suggests that the contents of this text are credible.


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