Changing Woman and Her Sisters by Katrin Hyman Tchana

Rating: 5 of 5

From the same mother-daughter team who brought us The Serpent Slayer: And Other Stories of Strong Women. You won’t find the oft regurgitated Greek goddesses.

Instead, Changing Woman and Her Sisters: Stories of Goddesses From Around the World, tales retold by Katrin Hyman Tchana and illustrated by her mom, Caldecott Medal Winner Trina Schart Hyman, celebrates lesser-known goddesses from cultures all over the world, including the Navajo people, the Inuit people, the Mayans, ancient China, Japan, Sumer (modern-day Iraq), India and more!

Each tale begins with the goddesses name, place of origin, and brief historical context. Many of the tales read like Creation myths and often explain how that goddess came to be. Trina Schart Hyman’s illustrations are atypical; instead of her customary linework, she felt inspired to use collage for the first time. She used materials from around her house – like garden seeds, fleece from her sheep, and cropped photographs of kids she knew – combined with acrylics, ink and glue. The result is illustrations with layers, depth, and new treasures to discover each time they’re viewed.

The bibliography will be a source of solid leads for anyone wanting to do additional reading on any of the goddesses. Plus, the Author’s and Artist’s note lend helpful context to both the retold tales and their illustrations. I sincerely appreciate Katrin Hyman Tchana sharing with us her inspiration and motivation: to write a book in which her African American sons could see people who looked like them.

Highly recommended to any reader looking for a collection of lesser-known female goddesses/ deities with the majority being from non-European countries.

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(Review cross-posted on LibraryThing and Goodreads.)

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