In Sun-day, Moon-Day, Cherry Gilchrist presents the origin of each week day’s name with an accompanying tale that relates (albeit sometimes loosely) to the day. The history is fascinating, especially for people interested in word origins. Our name “Tuesday” for example, comes from the Norse god of battle, Tiw, whose Roman name was Mars. This explains the French and Italian words for Tuesday (“mardi” and “martedi”). The introduction and appendix also contain intriguing facts about how ancient peoples used both astronomy and the seasons to divide time.
This would be a great title to use with other mythology books, such as When Woman Became the Sea (reviewed in ForeWord, Aug. 98). Some of the stories are rather grim, such as “The Children of Cronous.” Others, like “The Battle of Marduk and Tiamat” are fairly complex. There is a wealth of literature in these seven tales which span cultures from ancient Greece to old England.
The illustrations and page decorations are an excellent complement to the folklore. Amanda Hall uses smooth, flat colors in a stylized way almost reminiscent of Alice Provensen books, and the result is a pleasing, clean design.
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