Orpheus in the Underworld by Yvan Pommaux, 56 pp
Yvan Pommaux, beloved, multiple award-winning author and illustrator in France, has a detailed research and illustration style that we were treated too on this side of the Atlantic when TOON Graphics published Theseus and the Minotaur last year. Pommaux's books are a very welcome addition to the shelves of graphic novels and Greek mythology. George O'Connor's graphic novel series The Olympians is hugely popular in my library while Rick Riordan's books are not. More graphic novels featuring Greek myths, especially those not quite as well know, are fantastic. With Theseus and the Minotaur Pommaux presented a story rich with characters, plot and aspects of the myth that I never knew. Orpheus in the Underworld is yet another myth that I knew a little about and learned so much more after reading this book.
One thing I love about TOON Graphics are the extras that come with each book. Besides the phonetic pronunciations on each page, the cast of characters is presented, baseball card style, with pertinent information. There is a two page index that adds more depth to the story along with suggestions for further reading and resources, including websites.
Orpheus in the Underworld follows Orpheus from his birth to his death. The son of the Muse of epic poetry and the king of Thrace, Orpheus's musical gifts lift him to the peak of adoration and the the Three Fates bring that crashing down. Orpheus's visit to the Underworld to find Eurydice is compelling and will draw in young readers and make them want to know more about peripheral characters in the story like Hades, Charon, Cerberus and the Fates.
Hopefully there are more books like these from Pommaux because my students and I are dying to read them! Pun intended...
Source: Review Copy