Greek Gods for Kids by Monica Roy, which I received from NetGalley for review, is an illustrated introduction to the Olympian pantheon and a few of the most enduring narratives and heroes associated with it.
I enjoyed the strong lines and bold colors of the illustrations and found the content to be fluidly organized, effectively capturing the interconnectedness of the stories. The author also captures the gods’ dualities and complexities, neither over-simplifying nor being heavy-handed. A few typographical errors were noticeable, perhaps to be expected as my edition was an uncorrected proof.
Two features of this book made it stand out for me as unique among anthologies of Greek mythology for children:
It foregrounds that the myths were composed and transmitted orally, which has resulted in multiple versions of a similar story. Roy mentions this repeatedly when recounting myths, pointing out that the version presented is a favorite or most well-known version.
It differentiates between Greek and Roman mythology without privileging one over the other. Roy acknowledges that Greek mythology influenced Roman mythology but that the two are not the same. Similarly, Roy acknowledges that the myths have had an enduring influence and that we continue to engage with and enjoy them, but this does not mean that we are participating in “the same” tradition.
I would adopt this book for use with young readers as a conversation starter on myth and culture.
Did you have a favorite myth collection as a child? If not, a favorite book?