From School Library Journal
Grade 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
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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. Grades 2-4. --Francisca Goldsmith