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|Title: D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths|
By: Ingri d'Aulaire
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: NYR Children's Collection
Publication Date: 2005
|Dimensions: 12.00 X 9.00 (inches)|
Weight: 1 pound 10 ounces
Stock No: WW171257
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The couple married in Norway, then moved to Paris. As Bohemian artists, they often talked about emigrating to America. "The enormous continent with all its possibilities and grandeur caught our imagination," Edgar later recalled.
A small payment from a bus accident provided the means. Edgar sailed alone to New York where he earned enough by illustrating books to buy passage for his wife. Once there, Ingri painted portraits and hosted modest dinner parties. The head librarian of the New York Public Librarys juvenile department attended one of those. Why, she asked, didnt they create picture books for children?
The dAulaires published their first childrens book in 1931. Next came three books steeped in the Scandinavian folklore of Ingris childhood. Then the couple turned their talents to the history of their new country. The result was a series of beautifully illustrated books about American heroes, one of which, Abraham Lincoln, won the dAulaires the American Library Associations Caldecott Medal. Finally they turned to the realm of myths.
The dAulaires worked as a team on both art and text throughout their joint career. Originally, they used stone lithography for their illustrations. A single four-color illustration required four slabs of Bavarian limestone that weighed up to two hundred pounds apiece. The technique gave their illustrations an uncanny hand-drawn vibrancy. When, in the early 1960s, this process became too expensive, the dAulaires switched to acetate sheets which closely approximated the texture of lithographic stone.
In their nearly five-decade career, the dAulaires received high critical acclaim for their distinguished contributions to childrens literature. They were working on a new book when Ingri died in 1980 at the age of seventy-five. Edgar continued working until he died in 1985 at the age of eighty-six.
Michael Chabon is the author of several books, including The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay, The Yiddish Policemans Union, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son and, most recently, Telegraph Avenue.
The New York Times
"Out of print for many years, Norse Gods and Giants has been very handsomely reissued by the The New York Review Childrens Collection and retitled DAulaires Book of Norse Myths. Featuring a sturdy sewn binding, the book arguably represents the pinnacle of the dAulaires achievement as storytellers and artists….the prose seems livelier and more robust in the Norse myths than in the Greek…Their retelling of the Greek myths for children had to pull its punches somewhat….but since sex doesn't feature as prominently in Norse mythology, this book is able to stay scrupulously faithful to the Edda and still maintain its PG rating. But not to worry: theres still a lot of drinking, fighting and bad behavior, particularly on the part of fiery Thor, who is forever whacking frost giants on the head with his hammer, and the highly entertaining Loki, who is one of the most complicated and devious characters in anybodys mythology, anywhere. Loki is the Bart Simpson of Norse mythology, forever pulling pranks, forever getting caught and forever talking his way out of the consequences…"
The New York Times Book Review
"[These] works, especially the books of Norse and Greek myths, were and remain crucial to me, and now to my own children. The interest in mythology that was kindled by those two books has endured throughout my life, and has directly influenced my own writing in countless ways…The Norse book was always my favorite, though. I must have read it a dozen times at least by the time I was nine or ten."
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