Book Review – D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

Book Review

Mythology and science both extend the scope of human beings. Like science and technology, mythology, as we shall see, is not about opting out of this world, but about enabling us to live more intensely within it.

Karen Armstrong

Mythological stories have always influenced our cultures, thinking, writing. They are fun to read while giving a perspective of how people thought about various things in nature, how they believed humans should behave, what characteristics were considered noble in a person, what behaviors were acceptable and what attributes were unforgivable.

Mythological stories exist in all old civilizations – Greece, India, Egypt, China – and all these stories have influenced modern literature and thinking.

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

References of Greek mythology can be seen in many English language books. Western literature has always been influenced by these myths. References to the mythology can be seen in multiple works from Shakespeare to pop culture to children’s movies like Ice Age.

Elements used include the gods of varying stature, humans, demigods, titans, giants, monsters, nymphs, and famed locations. Mythological creatures like centaurs and nymphs have become words used in the language and not just a myth.

The D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths is a great book, perhaps one of the best, to introduce your child to the world of Greek mythology. It has been in print for over 50 years!

Language

It is written in a simple and clear language and children will have no problem in understanding it.

Age Group

It can easily be read by 8+ year old

Content

The stories are written in an entertaining and evocative way which holds the attention of young readers. They are detailed enough for them to understand the basic storylines and key characters but not so detailed as to make them feel lost. There are some great illustrations which helps to bring the characters in the story to life.

My own 8-year-old son has read the complete book and understood it well enough to tell me all the stories correctly and in sufficient detail.

Some amazing children’s books like the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, are based on the Greek mythology. I would definitely recommend reading the D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths before your child reads the Percy Jackson or other such series. It helps them understand the basis of the new world stories and their relevance rather than embibe the ‘modern’ version of the mythical characters.

Recommendation

I would definitely recommend this book for children 8 years or above. This will give them an understanding of the mythological stories on which many western books are based and also widen their minds and give a boost to their imagination.

Amazon India link – https://amzn.to/3mdETsm

Amazon .com link – https://rb.gy/5geyss

Mythology is not a lie, mythology is poetry, it is metaphorical. It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth–penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond that bounding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told.

Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

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