Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Lady of Ten Thousand Names by Burleigh Muten; illustrated by Helen Cann

The Lady of Ten Thousand Names: Goddess Stories from Many Cultures retold by Burleigh Muten, illustrated by Helen Cann
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Library Binding: 80 pages
Publisher: Barefoot Books (August 1, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1841480487
ISBN-13: 978-1841480480

When I was just three months pregnant with my daughter, I was browsing the children's section at a local bookstore already trying to find books for my new child's library. This book jumped out at me, and I simply had to buy it.

The Lady of Ten Thousand Names: Goddess Stories from Many Cultures retold by Burleigh Muten, illustrated by Helen Cann features the following eight retellings of goddess stories from different cultures:

  • Egyptian: Isis, The Lady of Ten Thousand Names
  • Chinese: Kuan Yin, The Princess who Became a Goddess
  • North American, Lakota Sioux: White Buffalo Woman, We Are All One Family
  • Welsh: Cerridwen, Mother of Magic
  • Scandinavian: Freya, The Blessing Necklace
  • Japanese: Ama-terasu, Ama-Terasu's Mirror
  • Nigerian-Yoruba: Oshun, The Great Mother
  • Greek: The Triple Goddess, Persephone, Demeter, and Hekate

There is a brief introduction at the beginning of each story that gives some background information about the featured goddess. For example, in the Nigerian-Yoruba story, we learn that Oshun has been worshiped for thousands of years, and one of her powers, among many, is to bring children to couples who don't have any. We then read the story of how Oshun "bargained with the gods as they prepared the Earth for the first humans and of how she gave birth to these first humans."

Each story in the book is fairly short (5-8) pages, and through each one, children learn about the goddess and her culture. The illustrations also depict cultural symbols and clothing.

This would be a great book for any child who likes mythology. It would also be a great way to introduce children to many different cultures around the world.


  1. This a wonderful book. I feel privileged because Burleigh lives near me in Western Mass. Thanks for the review.

  2. Hi Dawn,
    Thanks for stopping by! This really is a great book, and that's so cool about Burleigh living near you!

  3. I am going to have to order this. I've always found goddess stories fascinating, and this book looks like a wonderful introduction.

  4. Jenny,
    This would make an excellent introduction to goddess stories. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. This truly IS a fantastic book! Our family has enjoyed it and we, fortunately, get to enjoy all of the books that Barefoot Books publishes since I am a Stallholder for them! If you have any questions or want to find other wonderful books similar to this one you can find them at Happy reading!!