How cute are these Mini Myths books? When Abrams & Chronicles Books asked if I’d like to review them, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
I loved the idea of children getting a (very) early introduction to the classic Greek mythology. It’s foundational to Western literature, after all.
But could complex and somewhat terrifying stories like those of Pandora’s Box and Hercules’ Twelve Labours really be re-imagined for toddlers?
Three-year-old Talitha and I love these books. She requests them over and over and I’m happy to read them repeatedly. She even asks me to read the section at the end which tells the original story in full.
In Be Patient, Pandora, Pandora is rei-magined as a mischievous tot who opens a box of cupcakes her mother tells her not to. When the contents come flying out, only one with a heart remains, symbolic of hope.
Using humour that young children immediately get, the book goes to the heart of the myth’s message. The same can be said of Play Nice, Hercules.
Instead of killing his whole family (eek!), Hercules wrecks his sister’s building blocks. As he helps her put them together again, those familiar with the story will notice that each block bears an image representing one of the labours Hercules had to accomplish to redeem himself.
In fact, when we’re reading the story in full, Talitha loves to identify a block for each labour.
Play Nice, Hercules and Be Patient, Pandora, written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli are truly beautiful and imaginative hardcover books. I’d love see Holub and Patricellis’ take on more of the ancient myths in future.
Abrams & Chronicles Books is giving away three sets of these books to readers of this blog. To be in with a chance of winning, tell me what your favourite Greek myth is and enter the Rafflecopter widget below. If you’d like to purchase your own copy, the books retail at £4.99.
Giveaway ends 12.00am on October 2nd 2014. Open to UK residents only. Entrants’ email addresses will be passed on to the Circus Queen newsletter – you can opt out at any time.