"Behold the great shapeshifter himself, boldly casting poetic spells." - Roger McGough "Adrian Mitchell makes these tales of human overreaching and natural vengeance sharply up to date. Children will be entranced, but there's plenty for adults too." - Andrew Marr Bursting into life in the hands of Adrian Mitchell, here are 30 of the brightest, loveliest and most powerful myths ever written - stories of gods such as Jove, Apollo, Juno, Venus and Mercury and of mortals such as Daphne, Narcissus, Adonis, Phaeton and Persephone . Re-created from Ovid's Metamorphoses in stories, ballads and headline news, they sing aloud on the page. Breathtaking artwork by the most acclaimed fantasy illustrator of our time transforms the stories into a living, breathing children's classic to bewitch a new generation raised in a world of special effects.
With Alan Lee's amazing illustrations and the late Adrian Mitchell's wonderful writing style, this book has all the ingredients of a life-long classic. Considered to have within its pages thirty of the most powerful and delightful myths ever written, this lovely production certainly does them justice. This a treasure of a book. Bookseller
ADRIAN MITCHELL (1932-2008) made a splash in the 1960s as the first journalist to interview the Beatles and caught the spirit of the time with his anti-war poem 'Tell me lies about Vietnam'. The author of over twenty stage plays including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he adapted many foreign classics for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. He was the lyricist for Peter Brook's Us and Peter Hall's Animal Farm, and wrote many of the lyrics for Pam Gems' Piaf, as well as television documentaries and novels for adults and children. He gave over a thousand performances of his poems. His last three books were Shapeshifters, Tell Me Lies (Bloodaxe Books) and Umpteen Pockets (Orchard Books). Adrian's death in 2008 was a sad loss to literature, to the theatre and to children everywhere. ALAN LEE won the Kate Greenaway Medal for his illustrations to Rosemary Sutcliff's Black Ships Before Troy, which was followed by The Wanderings of Odysseus (both Frances Lincoln). In 1998 he won the Best Artist Award at the World Fantasy Awards. He illustrated the Centenary editions of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and, more recently, The Children of Hurin (HarperCollins). He went on to transform his vision of Middle Earth from page to celluloid in Peter Jackson's film trilogy The Lord of the Rings, winning an Oscar for Conceptual Design in 2004. Alan lives in south Devon.
Introduction 6 The Great Dance 9 Out of Chaos 10 The Four Ages 13 Revolt of the Giants 17 Jove in Judgement 18 The Wolfman 19 The Great Flood 22 Two Survivors 26 Wrong Arrows 28 The Black Cloud 32 Pan Piping 37 Chariot of Fire 40 Transition 48 Bears in Space 49 Informer's Pay 51 The Hunter Hunted 52 Sex Changing 58 Kiss the Mirror 60 The Boy God 66 The Bride of Darkness 71 The Young Critic 77 Hospitality Repaid 78 Quick-Change Artist 84 The King of Hunger 85 Orpheus Sings 94 The Sculptor's Prize 103 The Love Goddess in Love 105 Atalanta the Runner 106 Purple Hair 112 The Maze of the Minotaur 116 Icarus Falls 118 The Golden Touch 122 The Song Contest 124 The Proud Weaver 128 Goodbye 140 The Old Gods 142 A Note on Ovid 142 How to Pronounce the Greek Names 143