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by Robert Burleigh

Other authors: Raúl Colón (Illustrator)

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14324151,976 (3.56)None
Although Pandora has a house, gardens, and numerous gifts, she is drawn to the room that holds a forbidden jar. Is her curiosity a gift or a curse?

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"Pandora" is a retelling of the Greek myth of Pandora. The story tells of how before humans arrived on earth, the gods, Titans, and other immortal beings ruled the world. Zeus charged two Titans, Prometheus and Epimetheus, with creating animals and humans. When creating animals, the Titans gave them many gifts like strength and cunning, but that left little gifts for the humans. Prometheus felt sorry for them, and gave the humans fire from Mount Olympus, which enraged Zeus. He punished Prometheus and ordered the gods to create the first woman. This first woman was named Pandora, and was then wedded to Epimetheus. Zeus, still angry that humans had what rightfully belonged to the gods, created a jar filled with something terrible, and cast it on earth with Pandora. Pandora was given many gifts from the gods- beauty, music, a gentle soul, a love of the sea, and the desire to know all things- and was admired by all, but she only truly cared about the mysterious jar given to her by Zeus, who told her to never open it. Though she tries to distract herself, the jar is all she can think about. She finds herself staring at the jar, looking at the story painted on it about Prometheus giving humans fire and being punished by Zeus, who held Prometheus captive and had his liver pecked by a bird till the end of time. When Pandora reads the story, she thinks that it's an omen targeted towards her as well. When she talks to others about the jar, they all beg her to ignore it and leave it alone, but one day when she was walking home, a lioness stood in her path and stared at her. The lioness then slowly turned and leapt out of the path, and Pandora saw it as a sign from the gods for her to be courageous. She went home and, after much deliberation, opened the jar, which let out monstrous spirits and monsters from the opening. The beings of greed, war, anger, death, blood, falsehoods, and lies all flee from the jar, flying out into the world. Pandora rushes to the jar and puts the lid back on it to prevent anything else from coming out. She hears a small voice from the jar, which reveals itself to be hope. Relieved that something good came out of her mistake, she rushes to her servant, Xerxes, and tells him what happened. He tells her that since there is evil in the world, they must be brave. Pandora realizes that she would be able to be brave, and that she could use the gifts that the gods gave her to find a way to destroy the evil in the world. As her fear ebbed away, she understood that thanks to the hope that remained in the jar, she would be hopeful for the rest of her life despite the evil surrounding her. I really enjoyed this story, as I only knew part of the myth of Pandora; I knew about her unleashing evil in the world, but I never knew she was the first woman created by the gods, and I didn't know that the myth ended with Pandora bringing hope to the world despite her actions. Thankfully this story gave me most of the information I was lacking, and I really enjoyed it. For a while I really hated the myth of Pandora, since I saw it as another myth that blamed women for the bad things in the world, as well as another myth that painted women as weak-willed, disloyal, and untrustworthy (another example being Eve from the Bible). However, the fact that Pandora also discovers hope made me reconsider my feelings towards the myth. I feel like the book did a great job in making the myth a little more simple for children, while still keeping it interesting enough so that people of any age can enjoy the book. The illustrations were probably my favorite part of the book for me, as they remind me of renaissance paintings. The cover of the book as well as the illustration depicting Pandora's birth are definitely my favorites. Though I think this book is targeted towards children, I think people of any age would enjoy it, since Greek mythology is always interesting and the illustrations are extremely beautiful. ( )
  awaldrup | Mar 27, 2019 |
Robert Burleigh used great diction to be descriptive. In his writing, you could picture exactly what he wanted you to. His word choice helped to intensify the event with Pandora opening the jar. When, she wasn't supposed to. Until she opened it, Burleigh's words kept you on your toes to see if she was going to open it. ( )
  kmparnell | Oct 9, 2017 |
This book would have actually gotten less of a rating if it weren't for the illustrations that could have better explained the story if it weren't written so badly. The story, would not capture a child's attention and barely had my attention. Again, I am just not a fan. ( )
  lpittman | Apr 26, 2017 |
Much lovelier pictures than the cover implies. Longer than most picture-books, it retells the myth thoroughly and with grace. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A great children's picture book which tells the story of Pandora and her famous box. The story would make a great introduction to mythology for young children and i found the background information and character definition glossary interesting and useful.
  Jacqcar | Apr 20, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Burleighprimary authorall editionscalculated
Colón, RaúlIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Although Pandora has a house, gardens, and numerous gifts, she is drawn to the room that holds a forbidden jar. Is her curiosity a gift or a curse?

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Pandora has been forbidden by the gods to open a jar that is in her home, though it is all she can think of. She is consumed by the jar despite being surrounded by many wonderful things in and around her home, and despite being created with innate gifts of art, music and curiosity. However, it is her curiosity that will ultimately get the best of her, she does open the box and unleashes “harm and evil” into the world according to her servant. Though, Pandora does acknowledge one thing that remains in the jar – hope and vows to use it to help her people find a way. The book's illustrations by Raul Colon, are extremely vivid and complement the book's brevity and drama. Together, the images and the story clarity and flow seem a great first experience into mythology for young readers. Further, the storyline acts as a nice overarching lesson for further discussion in the classroom.
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