Exploring Chinese Mythology

ReferencePoint. Jan. 2023. 64p. $32.95. ISBN 9781678204785.
Gr 4-7–Gods, warriors, religion, and customs intertwine in a new series exploring world mythologies. These short, colorfully illustrated books [see also Exploring Indian Mythology] provide an insightful introduction to a country’s mythology, key tenets, practices, and deities. In Chinese Mythology, the entry delineates how these stories have influenced many aspects of contemporary China, such as religious practices and observances, such as the “Celebration of the Moon Goddess.” There are love stories too, which resulted in a rich history of poetry and folktales, such as the tale of “The Butterfly Lovers.” Indian Mythology features from the elephant-headed god Ganesha to the universe creator Brahma. Hindu mythology is filled with themes of good versus evil, karma, mythological creatures, and gods and warriors; here, the author presents the magic-filled stories ranging from the creation of the universe and humanity to religious devotion to bloody wars. This book also dives into the theology of Hinduism as a religion, showing some parallels and differences with Christianity and other religions. The myths—or at least their themes—endure. As the author notes, it’s a “living” mythology, informing life today. Informative sidebars, pull-out explanations, and colorful illustrations make these texts accessible.
VERDICT Either of these is an excellent starting point for those seeking more information about world religions, folklore, and cultural history.

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