Theseus and the Minotaur (Toon Series)

Overview

Young readers will be eager to dive into Greek mythology as they follow Theseus, the hero who slays the Minotaur.

In the unique TOON Graphics line of visually compelling stories, this is a mythology comic done right! Master French cartoonist Yvan Pommaux introduces a wealth of historically accurate details that immerse readers in the context and culture of ancient Greece. The story is supplemented with character cards, maps, mazes, and an index of cited names that will keep ...

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Overview

Young readers will be eager to dive into Greek mythology as they follow Theseus, the hero who slays the Minotaur.

In the unique TOON Graphics line of visually compelling stories, this is a mythology comic done right! Master French cartoonist Yvan Pommaux introduces a wealth of historically accurate details that immerse readers in the context and culture of ancient Greece. The story is supplemented with character cards, maps, mazes, and an index of cited names that will keep readers coming back for more! The literary quality of this book will appeal to readers young and old, making it an excellent addition to every classroom and library.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/23/2014
French author-artist Pommaux offers a solid graphic retelling of the life of Theseus, first published in France. Perhaps referencing the oral traditions through which the myths were first disseminated, the story is bookended by nighttime scenes on a boat in the Aegean Sea, where an elderly man recounts Theseus’s story to a boy and girl. From there, Pommaux offers clean pencil-and-ink images that range from small horizontal panels to larger scenes, colored in pale tan, green, pink, and blue. Like many myths, Theseus’s legend has a few details that require some sensitivity when recasting the story for younger audiences. “Unable to resist passions,” Theseus’s mother-to-be, Aethra, is “swept... up in a watery embrace” by the god while bathing. Later, Pommaux draws Pasiphaë climbing into a hollow cow “to get closer to the white bull” that Poseidon has made her fall in love with; soon after, she gives birth to the Minotaur. (Pommaux also lets readers’ imaginations do the work with regard to gory details of Theseus’s heroic deeds and the Minotaur’s bloodthirstiness.) Character bios, pronunciations, and an index round out a handsomely illustrated introduction to a classical hero. Ages 7–10. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
French author-artist Pommaux offers a solid graphic retelling of the life of Theseus, first published in France. ... Character bios, pronunciations, and an index round out a handsomely illustrated introduction to a classical hero.
—Publishers Weekly

Pommaux’s illustrations focus on light coloring and shading, making the sometimes brutal story gentle enough for younger audiences. Large splash panels really draw the eye and give a great sense of story, which should help students who may struggle to read the large blocks of text. ... Teachers looking for a great resource on this myth will be pleased. Added at the end is an in-depth glossary that further explains characters and topics only briefly mentioned in the text, making it an ideal resource for those learning about this myth for the first time.
—Booklist

A widely appealing tale in which a heroic warrior reclaims his destiny. ... The full-color art complements and enhances the narrative. ... An accessible, informative, and enjoyable read.
—School Library Journal

Sound effects and wry dialogue ... lighten the drama.... Pommaux’s suggestion that Theseus neglected to change his ship’s black sails because he was "distraught" over leaving Ariadne behind is a nice touch.
—Kirkus Reviews

Absolutely brilliant! Smart and well told — plus the art is sublime.
—Jeff Smith, Author of Bone

An ancient story wonderfully retold in a perfectly ancient way, graphically, text and pictures more together than either could be alone.
—Jon Scieszka, author of The Stinky Cheese Man

Adventure, mythology, and a Minotour! What's not to like!
—Frank Cammuso, author of Knights of the Lunch Table

From the Publisher
French author-artist Pommaux offers a solid graphic retelling of the life of Theseus, first published in France. ... Character bios, pronunciations, and an index round out a handsomely illustrated introduction to a classical hero.
—Publishers Weekly

Pommaux’s illustrations focus on light coloring and shading, making the sometimes brutal story gentle enough for younger audiences. Large splash panels really draw the eye and give a great sense of story, which should help students who may struggle to read the large blocks of text. ... Teachers looking for a great resource on this myth will be pleased. Added at the end is an in-depth glossary that further explains characters and topics only briefly mentioned in the text, making it an ideal resource for those learning about this myth for the first time.
—Booklist

A widely appealing tale in which a heroic warrior reclaims his destiny. ... The full-color art complements and enhances the narrative. ... An accessible, informative, and enjoyable read.
—School Library Journal

Sound effects and wry dialogue ... lighten the drama.... Pommaux’s suggestion that Theseus neglected to change his ship’s black sails because he was "distraught" over leaving Ariadne behind is a nice touch.
—Kirkus Reviews

Absolutely brilliant! Smart and well told -- plus the art is sublime.
—Jeff Smith, Author of Bone

An ancient story wonderfully retold in a perfectly ancient way, graphically, text and pictures more together than either could be alone.
—Jon Scieszka, author of The Stinky Cheese Man

Adventure, mythology, and a Minotour! What's not to like!
—Frank Cammuso, author of Knights of the Lunch Table

Children's Literature - Lisa Czirr
The hero Theseus fights the dreaded Minotaur in this graphic novel adaptation of the ancient Greek myth. As part of the “TOON Graphics” series, the traditional graphic novel elements are combined with narrative for a unique reading experience. A modern-day narrator telling the story on a ship at night on the Aegean Sea frames the tale. His narrative begins with Theseus’ birth and the Minotaur’s origins, eventually leading up to the reunion of Theseus and his father, Aegeus. When Aegeus is forced by an enemy to send sacrifices into the Minotaur’s labyrinth, Theseus volunteers to face the beast. Eventually, thanks to the help of his love Ariadne and some string, Theseus locates and vanquishes the Minotaur. Theseus returns home a hero, although in the process he tragically loses his father. Realistically drawn scenery and expressive characters fill the pages, bringing the myth to life. Pronunciation guidelines appear with any unusual Greek names, and in the back of the book is a fun guide to the characters that resembles a set of trading cards. A section of teaching tips is also included, along with questions, references, and a visually appealing index. This book would be perfect for igniting students’ curiosity about mythology. Reviewer: Lisa Czirr; Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
08/01/2014
Gr 4–8—This graphic novel version Greek myth of Theseus, founder of democracy, and the Minotaur, a half-human, half-bull creature, is a widely appealing tale in which a heroic warrior reclaims his destiny. Theseus, son of Aethra and King Aegeus, journeys to Athens to find his long lost father. On his way, he faces many foes, including a rampant bull. Upon arriving in Athens, the hero learns that the Minotaur has been locked away in a labyrinth, threatening to kill anyone who enters his domain, including many prisoners from Athens. Theseus destroys the Minotaur, but miscommunication leads his father to think he was unsuccessful. Tragically, Aegeus throws himself into the sea. Theseus becomes king, but eventually abdicates the thrown, giving power to the people. In keeping with the oral tradition of mythology, this work opens with a man facing two children—and readers—explaining that he is going to share an ancient tale. French comic artist and children's author Pommaux has recreated this epic myth in illustrated fiction format, with important dialogue written in text bubbles. Unlike standard graphic novels, there are no panels. It is possible to understand the story from the art and sparse text bubbles alone, but the majority of the tale is told in straight text surrounding the art. The full-color art complements and enhances the narrative. Back matter includes an illustrated list of characters, index, and glossary. Notes on pronunciation can be found on most pages. An accessible, informative, and enjoyable read.—Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-25
The tale of Theseus, recast into graphic-novel form.Sound effects and wry dialogue ("Woe is us!" moan the young Athenian victims on their way to Crete) occasionally lighten the drama, but the art, which places small figures in rugged landscapes or period structures built to monumental scale, echoes the interspersed narrative's formal, remote tone. Though the Minotaur displays likewise monumental thews, Theseus looks almost puny by modern hero standards—so much so that his battles with the bull-headed monster and earlier outsized foes (each of which is confined to a single anticlimactic panel) seem less struggles than stylized rituals. Furthermore, the telling is hung about with pedagogical implements: pronunciation guides (in a tiny font), "character cards" for the major players, a wordy annotated index, maps and, on the rear cover, even suggested discussion questions. Robert Byrd's The Hero and the Minotaur (2005) lacks most such extras but tells more of the story, with considerably more vim. Pommaux's suggestion that Theseus neglected to change his ship's black sails because he was "distraught" over leaving Ariadne behind is a nice touch, but it's not enough to rescue this wooden rendition.A distant, uninvolving take on an archetypal hero tale. (bibliography) (Graphic mythology. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935179610
  • Publisher: TOON Books
  • Publication date: 8/26/2014
  • Series: Toon Series
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 684,625
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 870L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

This is the American debut of Yvan Pommaux, one of France’s most prominent children’s book authors. Beloved for his comics and heavily illustrated books, he’s the recipient of the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris. There are three schools named after him in France.

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