160pp., hbk., RRP $A35.00
Even though the ancient Greek civilisation stretched across the Mediterranean, all parts share the same gods and heroes, their way of understanding the world around them and explaining to those less educated how things worked. The gods and goddesses who forged the Earth and set rules for all others to follow were such an integral part of their lives that they were integrated into daily life through their stories, their arts and even referenced in their law. To this day, thousands of years since they ruled the known world at the time, these stories are known and their heroes recognised.
In this impressive, weighty tome whose physical appearance belies its accessibility to its target audience of young independent readers, the stories are retold in modern easy-to-understand language accompanied by lots of illustrations. They are organised under headings of The Beginning, The Olympian Gods, Humans and the Gods, and Heroes and there is also a section that explains more about the role of the myths in Greek life.
As with all DK publications for young readers, there are the usual supports for young readers such as an easy-to-navigate contents page, glossary and index, but, importantly, for this one, there is also a pronunciation guide so little tongues can master those tricky names. Imagine not only being able to say “tyrannosaurus rex” but also ‘Chimaera’ and ‘Eurydice’ and even ‘Penelope’ (which was what I was to be called except my mum knew people couldn’t pronounce it!) Perfect for dropping at the family dinner table and all because the child found this amazing book in the school library collection!
If your curriculum includes a unit focusing on superheroes, this is a must-have… how do today’s heroes match up and will they still be around in 1000 years?