Monday, May 19, 2014

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg is one of the most in depth books I've ever read. It creates entire cultures with their own religions and holy stories. Don't worry, it's not really an encyclopedia. It's the story of an indigenous storyteller traveling the early earth to find something very special that he had lost. On the way, he tells stories about his people and learns new ones about other cultures. There is a recurring figure in both his stories and other's named God Birdman, the world wide celebrated god of everything. He has two children named Kid and Kiddo who are his messengers. The people who live in the places he visits are very much based on real life peoples like Vikings or Mongols. 

The art in The Encyclopedia of Early Earth is unbelievably beautiful. It looks like it was
made with wood cuts or a paint brush. I really love the way that Birdman is drawn. He looks just like he came off of a totem pole.  I also like the way Kid and Kiddo are drawn. It was a very interesting choice having them look like humans but with beaks tied on to their noses. In all, I think that almost every drawing could be put in a gallery and bring in more viewers than that Jackson Pollock junk. I could give the book the top rating for the drawings alone.

To tell the truth, I enjoy the stories about the gods more than I like the base storyline about the storyteller. It's really interesting how an entire mythos was created for this book alone, not to mention how great the stories are. My favorite is a story in which the earth is created. I'm not going to spoil any of it for you except to say that it grows out of a competition between Kid and Kiddo. Trust me when I say it's a real keeper

The Encyclopedia of Early Earth is fairly appropriate for all ages. There is some non-sexual nudity, but it's cave men hunting deer without loincloths and stuff like that. I enjoyed The Encyclopedia of Early Earth immensely. I suggest that you buy it the second you finish reading this review. I would give The Encyclopedia of Early Earth 10 Eskimo kisses out of 10. 


  1. "In all, I think that almost every drawing could be put in a gallery and bring in more viewers than that Jackson Pollock junk." I wish you could have seen how hard I laughed at that line. Well done!

  2. Milo, I don't know how you do it, but you're somehow able to be accessible ("Don't worry, it's not really an encyclopedia") and highbrow ("Mythos") at the same time. Best review YET! Your grandfather would be pleased that you reject Jackson Pollock.

  3. I can tell by your writing that you are being home schooled by the best. Your prose is lively, engaging, and has just the right mix of humor and earnestness.