My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is Charles Kingsley's retelling of stories from ancient Greek mythology for children. It deals with three heroes, Perseus, Jason (of the Golden Fleece) and Theseus. I enjoyed reading it as a child, and liked the pictures, which are pretty, but not particularly Greek -- the pastoral landscapes, especially, look English rather than Greek.
|Perseus rescues Andromeda
The last of these has several resemblances to the Christian legend of St George and the dragon. notably the theme of human sacrifice. I found the similarities and differences interesting, especially since I've written a book that features the legend of St George.
The only thing I remembered about Theseus was his encounter with the Minotaur, which, however, I had pictured as taking place underground, but in the story it evidently did not, which made little sense of the spool of thread he had to carry to find his way out again.
I do think, however, that they would be good for modern kids to read, and not only those brought up on a diet of superheroes. There are many references and allusions to them in other literature -- the Procrustean bed is just one example -- and so it can help children to understand those references.
Also, the past is another country, another culture, and reading stories from different cultures can help children to understand cultures other than their own.
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