This essay by Blake Gopnik in the Washington Post (11/22/2007) compares reading Beowulf to watching the movie. Gopnik, who went on to do medieval studies at McGill, recalls that "[His] first encounter with Beowulf came as a kid, in a surprisingly uncleaned-up version from The Golden Treasury of Myths and Legends [adapted by Anne Terry White; 1959]. I still think the spare modernism of the book's images, hand-drawn by the great American illustrators Alice and Martin Provensen, comes closer to capturing the intensity of the ancient original than the $150 million movie's industrial light and magic ever does." Well, that's not surprising, I thought, they're the Provensens.
Wait--the Provensens' illustrated a book of myths and legends? I must have it! Seriously, I've been looking for just such a book to read to Leo. I didn't grow up with the D'Aulaires, either Greek or Norse (I got my mythology from a tattered Edith Hamilton paperback), so there is no obvious choice. I have hopes for the collections of Greek and Roman myths retold by Geraldine McCaughrean and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark, but what about the Norse? Recommendations most welcome. Thanks!