Not only do our 200s collection include children’s books on modern day religion, they also contain our collection of mythology adapted for children. Two picture book retellings of Greek myths recently caught my attention.
The story of Hercules is splendidly retold by the wonderfully prolific Kathryn Lasky. Hercules himself narrates his early childhood, his famous twelve labors, and his eventual ascension to Mount Olympus. Mark Hess’s striking illustrations bring this mighty Greek god’s strength to life. Hercules: The Man, the Myth, The Hero is also well-suited for a read aloud story.
The Olympic Games are a recent memory, so it was fitting that I picked up Shirley Climo’s Atalanta’s Race. Atalanta refused to marry any man who could not outrace her. Many tried, but just couldn’t outrun this incredible racer.
The Greek myths often contain warnings about the repercussions of ignoring the gods, and Atalanta’s Race is no exception. Atalanta neglected to thank the gods for her gifts and had no use for them; of course, this meant that it was time to teach her a lesson!
Not only is Atalanta a determined and athletic young woman, but her relationship with her husband, Melanion, is one of mutual respect. Alexander Koshkin’s masterful illustrations add to the ethereal charm of this story.