Where did these words and other words, such as chaos, genius, nemesis, panic, echo, and narcissus come from? From the ancient stories of the Greeks stories that rang so true and wise that the names of the characters have survived for centuries as words we use every day. The brief stories here not only impart the subtle wisdom of these ancient tales, but make us understand the words, and our own world, more deeply."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-08-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Lunge-Larsen and Hinds explain what words like echo, grace, hypnotize, and janitor have in common, tracing the origins of common words and expressions to Greek and Roman myths. Readers may know that “arachnid” derives from the story of Arachne and that modern-day “sirens” have mythical antecedents, but this collection has plenty of surprises, too, such as the roots of “nemesis” (the goddess of justice) or “tantalize,” after doomed Tantalus. Lunge-Larsen provides additional context, including dictionary definitions, and quotes from children’s literature. Hinds incorporates graphic novel–style elements into his dynamic illustrations, including dialogue balloons and filmic perspectives. A treat for myth lovers and language lovers alike, this smart and well-executed compilation should provide readers with a deeper understanding of the ways in which language evolves and of the surprising symbolism behind certain words. Ages 9–12. (Oct.)