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.

*** Video ads other readers may find at the bottom of this post are NOT endorsed by GatheringBooks but are randomly included by WordPress to maintain their site. ***

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

4 comments on “Young Zeus to Usher in the New Year

  1. Myra – I read this a couple of years ago and really liked it for younger children. It is way too simplistic for those with a taste of much more.


  2. I loved this one for Karas’s illustrations–he’s always a favorite, but this seemed like a special project. I’ll have to compare to the D’Aulaires’ version, but my favorite retellings for children are probably Geraldine McCaughrean’s, the ones illstrated by Emma Chichester Clark–are you familiar with those??


  3. Myra and Fats, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this theme since i began following you. I am really looking forward to finding out what the next one is! 😀


  4. This sounds extremely good. I loved this theme!!! 😀


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