Greek Myths by Jean Menzies.
(Published July 2020).
The author of this book, Jean Menzies, has a YouTube channel where she discusses literature and history. I’ve been following her channel for years and when I discovered she’d written a book about Greek myths I went to download the ebook immediately, since I have been a lover of ancient mythology ever since I studied Greek and Latin in secondary school.
Greek Myths is not only a collection of retellings of myths (such as the kidnap of Persephone, the Trojan War, Perseus and Medusa, the twelve labours of Herakles, and Odysseus’ voyage), but it also features profiles of the Gods, a pronunciation guide, and background information on such things as mythical beings and monsters, things that are named for the myths, Mount Olympus, and the underworld.
The book is meant for children between the ages of 7 and 9, but it has more of an encyclopedic feel to it than is normal for a children’s book. The stories are very concise and only a few of them take up more than two pages. Add to that the profiles, pronunciation guide and background info, and you have a perfect reference book, but a less than perfect children’s book. I miss the sparkle and enthusiasm, the dash of Oscar Wilde’s short stories and the hint of Roald Dahl.
Despite that it’s still an enjoyable and informative read and the illustrations are wonderful and fit very well with Greek mythology. Had Greek Myths been intended as an introductory guide to Greek mythology I would have definitely rated it 4 stars (maybe even 4.5), but as a children’s book:
3.5 out of 5 stars.
This review can also be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3469740950