Review Blog

Jul 17 2020

Greek Myths by Jean Menzies

cover image

Illus. by Katie Ponder. Dorling Kindersley, 2020. ISBN: 9780241397459. 160pp.
(Ages: 8 - 12) Recommended. Greek Myths is a beautifully presented, simply written, thorough compendium. Although it is non-fiction, with an index, it helps to begin reading it from the beginning. In this way you understand how Gaia created the world and then subsequent Olympian Gods and Goddesses such as Zeus, Hera, Hades and Poseidon came to be. This section is followed by nine myths of Gods and Humans such as the myth of Pandora's Jar. Nine well known tales of heroes such as Jason and the Argonauts follow. There's much treachery, trickery and violence amongst the Gods and you realize the extent to which we refer to these characters and tales in everyday life, e.g. The Trojan War, Icarus and Midas. Throughout these sections are single fact pages devoted to each of the main Gods and Goddesses. This helps the reader consolidate who is who. A reference section has further useful pages explaining how we know about this Ancient History, more information about mythical creatures and monsters and how the Greek names were used to name planets, animals and plants. There is a particularly useful pronunciation guide as well.
Katie Ponder's many digitally created illustrations are well suited to the myths. The whole design of the book, with quality buff paper in a large hard covered volume, is very appealing. This book will be useful in schools where Ancient History is part of the Australian Curriculum in the middle years. It will also be of interest to young readers who love books like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. There have been many anthologies of Greek Myths over the years but I think the design, large font and easy to read style will help connect these myths with today's audience.
Jo Marshall

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