In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World

by Virginia Hamilton

Paperback, 1991



Local notes

291.24 Ha (c.2)





HMH Books for Young Readers (1991), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 176 pages


An illustrated collection of twenty-five myths from various parts of the world explaining the creation of the world.

Original publication date


Physical description

176 p.; 10.04 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member cbl_tn
This Newbery Honor Book pairs Virginia Hamilton's retellings of creation stories from various world cultures with watercolor illustrations by noted artist Barry Moser. Of the twenty-five stories in the book, three are from Greek mythology and two are the accounts of creation from Genesis chapters 1
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and 2. This would be a good addition to a high school or junior high library collection. I would not recommend this book for younger children because of the dark illustrations, some of which will almost surely frighten some children. The book would not be out of place in an adult's library collection or displayed as a coffee table book. The bibliography of useful sources will lead interested readers to scholarly works on origins, world religions, mythology, and legends.
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LibraryThing member ameliagilbertson
This book containts numerous creation stories from arund the world as well as information about the origin of the stories themselves. There are illustration pairing each tale and a discussion at the back of the book comparing overlaying themes throughout the stories.
LibraryThing member gallenor
Fascinating stories of cultures from around the globe offer a glimpse into other beliefs on the world was created. The myths are relatively short in length and would should be of interest to students if read aloud to them.
LibraryThing member amygatt
This is a collection of creation myths from cultures and countries around the world, including Guinea, China, Melanesia,Siberia, Australia, India, the Eskimo, American Indians, and many others.

Each myth usually includes a god and a man and a woman who create life and sometimes are the first to
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bring trouble into the world. Many of these myths also try to explain why human beings do not live forever. Animals also play a role in many of these stories. I think that my favorite of these stories is Pandora's box, a Greek creation myth - what appeals most to me about this myth is that after all the evil things erupt from the box, there is one little thing left in the bottom of the box. Hope. "She saw great Hope catch up to the ugly things of the world. When Hope was among them, the creatures seemed less sure of themselves" (p. 146).

This would be a great resource during a unit on mythology, especially because it does not just focus on traditionally taught Greco-Roman mythology, but takes examples from a diverse sample of cultures.
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LibraryThing member brikayama
This book includes numerous creation stories from all over the world and "Man Copies God-Nyambi the Creator" is just one of them. This myth is from the Lozi people Of Zambia. It is considered a Divine Myth. The stories in this book are short, but interesting. It's fascinating to read different
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stories all based on the creation of mankind and earth.
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LibraryThing member hailelib
A collection of 25 creation stories from around the world simply told for all ages. While Hamilton's retellings are very good the full page illustrations by Barry Moser add a great deal to one's enjoyment of this book. A well organized collection that would be good to use with middle school
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students or even older elementary students. It also made a good companion book to The World of Myth which I am also working my way through.
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LibraryThing member susan.mccourt
This is a quite thorough anthology of creation myths from many cultures. We learn of earth being created by an animal, by God, or by Death. In some stories, we first learn about the creation of the creator, and get a vivid description of the creator itself (Quat, Phan Ku). Then, the creator goes to
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work! Sometimes the world begins in light, other times in dark. Creation is almost always gradual. Some stories provide additional detail about customs of the newly created people. Each story is followed by valuable notes that describe the suspected origin (place and/or time) of the myth, along with other interesting details. I did find myself sometimes going to the note at the end before finishing the myth, because I wanted to guess or be told the culture of origin before finishing the story. Perhaps a more patient way of doing this with students would be to read the myth and then see if we could discern an origin based on any clues. I appreciated the inclusion of Genesis creation stories as part of the survey of myths, but I suppose this could be controversial to some. It would be important to discuss the fact that all mythology is perceived as truth to its culture and that it's up to the reader to discern for themselves what they believe. The book's text is straightforward enough to be read by older elementary students, but its richness delivers as much value to middle school and high school students (or adults!). It would be extremely useful not just as a literature project, but also as a way to examine world culture, wildlife, and geography. The illustrations are vivid and powerful, but some of the characters (Imir, Death) could be somewhat frightening to younger children. I would have appreciated a geographical cross reference or map to help organize the myths by culture of origin, but perhaps this could be a student project. Notes at the end summarize more shared themes among the myths and provide extensive sources for further research.
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LibraryThing member sharmon05
This is an excellent resource. The book contains so many various stories that it gives a wide breathe of mythology about a popular topic. The main strength of this book is that the myths are written in an easy to understand format that is was for children to read and enjoy. However, I find that the
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illustrations sometimes lack luster when compared to the myth.
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LibraryThing member nicholew
The god with the super power is a Raven. He is able to switch form from a raven into a human. He created humans from pea-pods and then created other living things through clay.The plot of the myth is that the Raven not only creates man but instructs them on living. Raven continued to create. Man
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and women had a baby and soon there were many. Everything was living and growing as it should be. It is a good story that gives students a different perspective on how things were created.
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LibraryThing member perihan
This myth book contains twenty-five creation stories around the world. One of these stories is from Zambia called, “Man Copies God”. Myambi the creator made the first man, Kamonu. Kamonu copied everything Myambi did, he even wanted to have Myabi’s magical powers that only god could have. One
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day, Kamonu made a spear and killed an antelope and continued killing. Myambi wanted Kamonu to go away, but every time he sent him away, Kamonu came back. With the help of a spider’s thread, Myabi climbed all the way to sky where he could not reach him. Kamonu understood that it was impossible to reach the sky. Every morning when the sun came up, Kamonu greeted his god Myabi.
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LibraryThing member troberts719
A collection of creation myths from around the world. Culture is expressed with beautiful illustrations that fit with the stories.
LibraryThing member troberts719
A collection of creation myths from around the world. Culture is expressed with beautiful illustrations that fit with the stories.
LibraryThing member Brightman
Great short pieces on 'beginnings'
LibraryThing member raizel
A lovely book, but it would have been nice to see on one page where all the stories came from instead of searching for the note at the end of each story.
LibraryThing member TiffanyNicole67
A great book telling different versions of how the world came to. This book captures many different cultures and folk tales, it also explains why certain cultures honor or respect animals the way they do. This is such an interesting book for any and all classrooms just purely to help students
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understand cultural appreciation.
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LibraryThing member laurlou
This treasure holds a variety of creation myths and stories from around the world. Each myth is accompanied by an unique illustration as well as followed by comments that discuss the origination of the story.
LibraryThing member electrascaife
A collection of creation myths from a range of cultures. I was excited going into this one because I love this sort of thing, but as it turns out, the book is pretty dry. Disappointing, really. Surely there's a way to retell these stories in a more engaging way? Especially since the intended
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audience is kids? *shrug*
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(60 ratings; 4.1)
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