Happy New Year Everyone! We are still celebrating our current theme until the end of this week.
The author-illustrator G. Brian Karas explained in his Author’s Note found at the beginning of the book how his visit to Greece gave him the resonance he needed to come up with this book project:
Here lived my ancestors in the lands where ancient gods and goddesses once ruled. In fact, when I learned how humanlike the deities were believed to be (flawed but lovable). I immediately recognized my relatives in all of them! I had found my personal connection.
This book provides a unique perspective as it provides an account of Young Zeus when he was secreted away to the peaceful island of crete with only Amaltheia, the enchanted she-goat for company. His mother, Rhea, saw to this peculiar living arrangement so that Zeus wouldn’t be eaten up by Cronus, his father, just like his older brothers and sisters.
This book is an effective primer or introduction to myths for younger children who may not be too predisposed to really find out the gory details about all the gods and goddesses. This is definitely a more sanitized version of the tales. Evidently written with a younger audience in mind, it contains the bickering of the siblings (when Zeus rescued them from out of Cronus’ tummy) and a more contemporary (rather than archaic) language.
However, since I’ve already read D’Aulaires’ version of the myths, it pretty much ruined this book for me. For younger kids, though, I have a feeling they’d enjoy the contemporary vibe of the story. Plus you can’t go wrong with G. Brian Karas’ artwork.