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*****= An all-time favorite
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***Gilgamesh the Hero

retold by Geraldine McCaughrean

illustrated by David Parkins

Reviewed January 10, 2005.
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2003.  96 pages.

About a year or so ago, I read a translation of Gilgamesh written for adults and carefully written to be an accurate translation.  I liked this version written for children much better.  The language seemed more poetical and fairytale-like.  This one captured my imagination better.  It didn’t contain scholarly notes and purports to be a free adaptation “from a variety of translations.”  This one was fulfilling a different purpose, and it does make a better story.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest recorded story in the world.  I admit that I am interested in it because it’s mentioned by Jean-Luc Picard in an episode of Star Trek:  Next Generation!  I’d like to read this version to my son.  It’s an epic story of friendship and strength and adventure.  It’s also an important mythological tale from mankind’s history.  This particular version makes good reading.

“It’s someone much more important than a king or a sage or a wife.  The gods are sending you a friend!”

Review of another book by Geraldine McCaughrean:
The Kite Rider

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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