Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders

Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders

4.2 19
by Mike Townsend
     
 

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From Hercules? snake assassin slippers to Arachne's wicked weaver rap songs, these are the mythic monsters and Hellenic heroes that have captured Western culture for centuries-but a whole lot more fun. Each story showcases the wondrous and blunderful antics of gods and mortals in bright graphics that rival the super-heroic action of The Lightning Thief,

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Overview

From Hercules? snake assassin slippers to Arachne's wicked weaver rap songs, these are the mythic monsters and Hellenic heroes that have captured Western culture for centuries-but a whole lot more fun. Each story showcases the wondrous and blunderful antics of gods and mortals in bright graphics that rival the super-heroic action of The Lightning Thief, burst with the knock-yoursocks- off humor of Jeff Kinney, and still remain unerringly faithful to the original myth. Kids won't be able to resist the bickering sheep, unruly rulers, and undercover details of Amazing Greek Myths?while teachers, librarians, and parents can relish this new way to share moral messages that remain as relevant today as they were a thousand years ago.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hellenic heroes and mythic monsters from Greek mythology go to a whole new level with Townsend's cartoony, bright, and colorful art. This collection of whimsically told Greek myths include comical abridged stories about King Midas, Pandora, Pygmalion, Persephone, Arachne, Perseus, Pyramus and Thisbe, Icarus, and Hercules. A brief introduction informs readers on the “first things they should know about the world of Greek Mythology” complete with a show and tell of the gods' and monsters' character names and faces. The entertaining, lively, and action-packed stories are spiced with slapstick throughout, while the moral messages are contained within loud, flamboyant action, leaving readers with plenty of room for laughs. Ages 9–12. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 3–7—Ten familiar myths—the stories of Pandora, Arachne, Midas, Perseus, and others-are embellished with humor, the gory parts glossed over, and served up in blazing color for fans of either comic books or Percy Jackson, or both. Most of the stories come with a moral, although some (Persephone, Pyramus and Thisbe) take the form of just-so stories. Conversational, up-to-date language and broad jokes help to make the stories accessible and coordinate well with the simple, cartoon illustration style. The artist has deployed a wide array of bright solid colors in such a way that contrast between foreground and background is maintained. The tone, as well, is somewhat unrelenting, with much shrieking, sobbing, yelling, and spinning eyeballs. Charles R. Smith's The Mighty 12 (Little, Brown, 2008) would be an interesting contrast.—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD
Kirkus Reviews
From the tale of doomed lovers Pyramus and Thisbe to the Labors of Hercules, nine oft-retold myths get an off-the-wall graphic-novel treatment. Headed by titles like "Perseus vs. Two Nasty Kings and a Really Ugly Monster," or "Pygmalion and His Rocky Relationship!!!" the panels are crowded with similar-looking gods and mortals, sheep, small pastel bunnies, loud sound effects and tongue-in-cheek dialogue ("That's Cerberus, my doggy!")-all printed on coated paper and brightened by saturated colors. The tales are still more or less recognizable, though Townsend occasionally embroiders them with, for instance, an army of monkeys that Icarus recruits while Daedalus is working on a (supposedly) better escape plan, and adds some characters to the usual cast, like a little green sidekick named Deadkins for Hades. Along with being not too far from Emmanuel Guibert's Sardine in Outer Space series, illustrated by Joann Sfar, in general look and tone, these free-spirited retellings should draw fans of John Harris's Strong Stuff: Herakles and His Labors, illustrated by Gary Baseman (2005), and Charles R. Smith Jr.'s Mighty 12: Superheroes of Greek Myth, illustrated by P. Craig Russell (2008). (Graphic mythology. 10-13)
Booklist
Townsend balances text and visually communicated information in a way that few graphic novels for the chapter-book set seem to be able to maintain.
From the Publisher
Praise for Amazing Greek Myths of Wonder and Blunders

"Brash colors, quirky humor, and authentic retellings combine to make this compilation of stories about Pandora, Icarus, Demeter, Hercules, and other stars in the classical-myth canon both brilliant and engaging. Townsend balances text and visually communicated information in a way that few graphic novels for the chapter-book set seem to be able to maintain. The architecture and attire are all ancient world, while touches of contemporary humor don’t come off as overly anachronistic—the punch line to “How many centaurs does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” is “None . . . because lightbulbs don’t exist!” Other running gags include stupid sheep and funny taglines at the close of each tale. The lessons of the myths ring true, and their graphic stagings should keep readers, whether familiar with Bulfinch’s classic versions or not, enthusiastically turning the pages."—Booklist
"Ten familiar myths—the stories of Pandora, Arachne, Midas, Perseus, and others-are embellished with humor, the gory parts glossed over, and served up in blazing color for fans of either comic books or Percy Jackson, or both. Most of the stories come with a moral, although some (Persephone, Pyramus and Thisbe) take the form of just-so stories. Conversational, up-to-date language and broad jokes help to make the stories accessible and coordinate well with the simple, cartoon illustration style. The artist has deployed a wide array of bright solid colors in such a way that contrast between foreground and background is maintained. The tone, as well, is somewhat unrelenting, with much shrieking, sobbing, yelling, and spinning eyeballs."—School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
What a clever way to introduce Greek myths to a young person! The retelling of the Greek myths is done with humor and interesting story lines that have been "stretched" a bit to add interest and enjoyment. Lots of modern language is used such as, "My bad" and silly jokes like, "How many centaurs does it take to screw in a light bulb?" The answer is "None. Because light bulbs don't exist!" There are ten tales in all, each filled with the author's characters and hilarious situations. Even though these retold myths include sheep that argue, foolish rulers, silly characters, and words like, "Herc-a-doodle-doo, I got you," the ethical message of each tale is loud and clear and leaves the door open for wonderful book talks. The tales selected provide the morals that will help children understand why you should or should not do something. Personally, I find it amazing that the wisdom of these morals from the past hold just as much truth for individuals today. The illustrations are cheerful and are filled with bright colors. They add much to the book. There is a lot to see in the illustrations on each page and each time the reader looks at them they will see something they missed before. Children will enjoy the pictures as much as they will enjoy reading the tales. This book will make a perfect addition to personal, school, and classroom libraries. I do highly recommend this book. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
VOYA - Ruth Cox Clark
The full page warning that "the book you are about to read contains nine bizarre and wacky tales that take place in a Greek-tastic myth-o-rific word!!!" is the first indication that this is not going to resemble Bullfinch's Mythology (Modern Library, 1998) in any shape or form. This in-your-face approach to Greek gods may be just what attracts the non-mythology reader to the intensely colorful panels and modernized dialogue used to introduce characters from King Midas, to Pandora, to Pygmalion, to Icarus, to Hercules and more. Some readers may be intrigued by the weirdly appealing depictions of wide-mouthed, less-than-polite characters before they even realize they are familiar with these heroes and heroines of Greek mythology. Readers versed in these classic tales may initially be irritated by the less-than-flattering depictions of the gods and the humans they encounter or delighted by the bold addition of burps, yawns, and hiccups that add humor as well as humanize the characters. Whether irritated or delighted by these retellings, readers will find themselves laughing aloud at scenes including an obnoxious Pandora "reading" an upside down book and Hades' sidekick, called Deadkins, chasing bunnies prior to returning to the underworld. This collection is gag-joke funny and will appeal to both graphic novel readers and mythology lovers, such as avid readers of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (Hyperion Books). Reviewer: Ruth Cox Clark

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780147510693
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
02/06/2014
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
280,591
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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