Book Review of T is for Thor: A Norse Mythology Alphabet
The Children’s Book Review
Written by Virginia Loh-Hagan
Illustrated by Torstein Nordstrand
Ages 5-9 | 40 Pages
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press | ISBN: 978-1-53411-050-2
What to Expect: Norse Mythology, Gods, Goddesses, Magic, Culture
For many children, Thor and Loki are characters from the Marvel Universe, superheroes with fantastic superpowers and fairly simple back-stories. However, these characters, in fact, share a rich and complex origin in Norse mythology, where they form part of a powerful pantheon of Gods, ruling over the fates of humans, the natural world, and the nine worlds. From the Jotun in Jotunheim to the Dwarves of Svartalfheim and the dead warriors of Valhalla, T is for Thor introduces readers to the creatures, worlds, and stories that form the captivating corpus of Norse myth and legend.
Organized as an alphabet book, the strongest aspect of this volume is the beautiful illustration, full of tiny details and rich colors that bring the Norse legends to life. Like other books in the alphabet series from Sleeping Bear Press, this alphabet is only nominally for young readers; the simple rhymes accompanying each letter of the alphabet are augmented by text passages providing more in-depth detail about the many legends and stories depicted in the illustrations. Bookending the volume are a facts list at the end and a comprehensive glossary of key terms at the beginning, helping readers ground the stories in contemporary culture.
Overall, T is for Thor is a beautiful and captivating introduction to Norse mythology for young readers eager to move beyond the two-dimensional Hollywood depictions.
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About the Author
Virginia Loh-Hagan was born in the luckiest of all years, the Year of the Dragon. She’s an author, university professor, curriculum designer, and former elementary school teacher. She was inspired to write this story after doing author visits. Her young audiences wanted to know more about Chinese New Year!
About the Illustrator
In Norwegian, Torstein means “the rock of Thor,” referring to his trusty stone hammer, Mjolnir (can also be spelled as Mjollnir), so Torstein Nordstrand was destined to illustrate this book. Like so many kids, Torstein grew up loving drawing. In fact, he never stopped doing it, and now he’s pretty good! He loves creating things so much that he avoids doing anything else. In his office, he can invent 3D worlds, wondrous images, and crazy music. He’s never entirely happy with any of it, but he keeps making stuff anyway. You can find more of his creations on the Internet. He lives in Bergen, Norway.
T is for Thor: A Norse Mythology Alphabet, written by Virginia Loh-Hagan, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like T is for Thor: A Norse Mythology Alphabet by following our reviews and articles tagged with Norse Mythology and Alphabet Books.
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