Pandora, written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raul Colon, is an interesting rendition of the ancient Greek tale of Pandora. In this version, Pandora has a jar instead of a box, which is in fact more in keeping with the original Greek word used in the old tellings of the story. Day and night, Pandora stares at the sealed jug on the pedestal, wondering what could be inside. Despite warnings not to open it, her curiosity only grows. Eventually she opens the jar and empties it of all its contents. In a frightening display of artistic talent, the horrors released from the jar are materialized, and they are seen to be all the evils of the world. However, there was still one thing left in the jar that did not escape before it was closed again. No matter how many evils were released into the world, Pandora still had hope in her jar.
The art in this book is simply beautiful. The colors, the technique, everything is meant to bring the reader back to Ancient Greece. The details are amazing. Colon’s figures come to life on the page, especially on his two-page spread when Pandora has opened the jar, her emotions are captured with the lines and colors.
This book is highly recommended for lovers of mythology. It is most likely better for an older elementary school child to read this book for two reasons: There are a lot of words, some of which may be difficult to pronounce and some of the images and themes may be a bit frightening to younger children. Robert Burleigh’s mythological books are excellent, most of them staying as true to the original story as possible, and all of them with fantastic artwork.
Check the WRL catalog for Pandora.