Flipping through my Tapestry of Grace curriculum guide, I noticed that we would be coming up on The Odyssey in a few weeks. I am very much looking forward to this, and I already had planned on checking the library for The Adventures of Odysseus by Barefoot Books- to read with my 3 youngest students. If they didn't have it, I was going to purchase it, because it just looks beautiful. This week at the library I stumbled upon it and checked it out, what serendipity!
Demi-Sky pounced on it, curling up with it the other day- and he asked me to read to him the page about the sirens, wondering what the bird-like creatures with women's heads were.
I have to tell you that this book is a simplified re-telling of The Odyssey for children. I studied The Odyssey in a High School AP class, years ago- but frankly, we rarely had time to actually read the works we studied- I was lucky if we read one of the stories (I can't remember), most likely we outlined it and discussed major themes and literature types and importance.
I sat down with Demi, Sky was in the room listening, and read this aloud;
...."The shimmering song began. I begged my crew to change their course. I threatened them and cursed them but they were deaf to my pleas....
....As for me, I could see nothing. I could only hear a song so searingly beautiful I nearly lost all reason.
In the song I heard so many sounds: the beating of a swan's wings, the hiss and drag of the sea on sand, the moan of the wind as it blows across the broad face of the world, the rythm of the passage of the seasons, my wife singing-and all the sounds I heard were in harmony. For those few moments I heard the Song of the Spheres. Ever since then, all music has been clatter to me; the sound of a shield as it falls on a cobblestone floor."
I began to choke up, and I looked at Sky and said, "dang, if this is a simplified paraphrase, I have to read the real thing now!" (-I know, I'm profound and poetic, aren't I? Just keeping it real, bloggy friends...)
go get this book! You can buy it at the Chinaberry catalog here* or from any other bookseller.
The illustrations are beautiful.