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D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths Hardcover – September 19, 1962

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Editorial Reviews Review

No education is complete without a large slice of Greek mythology. And there's no better way of meeting that literary quota than with the D'Aulaires' book. All the great gods and goddesses of ancient Greece are depicted in this big, beautiful classic, lovingly illustrated and skillfully told. Young readers will be dazzled by mighty Zeus, lord of the universe; stirred by elegant Athena, goddess of wisdom; intimidated by powerful Hera, queen of Olympus; and chilled by moody Poseidon, ruler of the sea. These often impetuous immortals flounce and frolic, get indiscreet, and get even. From petty squabbles to heroic deeds, their actions cover the range of godly--and mortal--personalities.

The D'Aulaires' illustrations have a memorable quality: once pored over, they will never leave the minds of the viewer. Decades later, the name Gaea will still evoke the soft green picture of lovely Mother Earth, her body hills and valleys and her eyes blue lakes reflecting the stars of her husband, Uranus the sky. No child is too young to appreciate the myths that have built the foundation for much of the world's art and literature over the centuries. This introduction to mythology is a treasure. (Ages 10 to adult) --Emilie Coulter


"For any child fortunate enough to have this generous book...the kings and heroes of ancient legend will remain forever matter-of-fact; the pictures interpret the text literally and are full of detail and witty observation."
--Horn Book.

"The drawings...are excellent and excitingly evocative."--The New York Times

A New York Public Library's 100 Great Children's Books 100 Years selection

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1070L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers; First edition (October 19, 1962)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385015836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385015837
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 12.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (531 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

276 of 280 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Munson on March 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was twelve years old and it affected me so much that ten years later I still have a deep and abiding love of Greek mythology. A ratty, paperback copy I found at Salvation Army still holds *the* place of honor in my Greco-Roman collection, usurping The Odyssey, The Iliad, Edith Hamilton, and Robert Graves.
What originally struck me as so fantastic (and still does) is that the D'aulaires don't write down to their audience or edit out details important to the original myth that some parents might not approve of. The end result? An all ages storybook and mythological primer that no one should be ashamed to own.
The drawings are an acquired taste, falling somewhere between Classical pottery paintings and Art Deco, but they do grow on you. My only quibble is that there's no pronunciation guide, which can really hamper you if this is your first exposure to these stories.
Buy this for for your children or even for yourself, you will never regret it.
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190 of 195 people found the following review helpful By John Brosseau on May 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book has been in print for at least 40 years. It was my introduction to Greek mythology when I was in elementary school in the early 60s. Now, a very educated middle aged man who has read Homer, Hesiod, Ovid, the Athenian playwrights, and all the great literature based on the mythology, I can tell you that 75% of my basic knowledge of these myths still comes from my devouring, re-reading, absorbing D'Aulaire in what can only be called a child's fantasy paradise. I have no children, but if I did and could gift them as I was gifted, I would count myself a successful parent if I did nothing more than introduce them to this book. The gorgeous illustrations are still burned in my memory. How any team of writers could depict Kronos devouring his children, Arachne being transformed into a spider, and so forth, and not make it frightening to a small child--well, this book is a miracle. Check it out and may your family cherish it.
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128 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I think this book introduced me to the idea of studying. When I was young, I devoured this. I knew every story, every character, and every adventure. This was the foundation for more book reports and special projects than I could list. The myths are presented in an easily understandable format that does not talk down to children. The illustrations, while simple, are full of life and charm. This is a perfect children's book.
"D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths" also gave me a great insight into a more adult world, and a curiosity, which I still carry to this day. Astronomy was no problem, as I already knew the names of things. Science also held fewer mysteries than it might have. (Hippocratic oath anyone?) My interest in Greek Myths lead to interest in Rome, which was followed by Shakespeare's Roman plays. Greek statuary lead to an interest in art, and a trip to the British Museum. Someday I hope to travel to Greece itself, and view the stomping grounds of Heracles and Belpheron.
All starting from this book. I think that is a pretty good recommendation.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By B. Ketelaar on September 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The first time I read this book was in my elementary school library when I was nine. I checked out the book again and again until my mother took notice of my monopolization and bought me a copy of my own. It was an eye-opening experience for me as a young girl, being aware that there were other religions besides Christianity, and those that had existed long before. This book became a particular bonding instrument for my mother and I. My obsession with this book sparked her interest and now she has my old copy that is scribbled full of her notes. It is a great, simplistic introduction to Greek mythology and something that I still refer to when I need a quick refresher about a certain god, hero or myth. I attribute this book for instilling in me the love of reading, history and world religions and for narrowing my focus on what I wanted to study once I went to college. It also gave me a much more humanistic perspective in viewing religion, a concept that had only been really an abastraction for me up to that point. I encourage anyone to give this gift to any young person who loves to read. The illustrations are charming and aid the entertaining narrative so as a whole it is very easy for a child to absorb and comprehend. This book should not be overlooked. It could change your life too!
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Bloedorn on June 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My mom got a copy of this book for the family when I was 6 or 7 and I read it so much that the pages fell out. I memorized the myths and told them to my friends. This books started a life-long love of mythology--okay, so I'm only 23--still, I adore the human foibles of the gods, and I LOVE the illutstrations. They have ingrained in me the way I see the Greek Gods and inspired me to take a trip to Athens and the rest of Greece. As I stood at Leto's rock in Delfi, tears came to my eyes. I realized that I was where she had given baby Apollo the mission to take it as his own temple, and the majesty and history of the place nearly overcame me. My mom got me a copy of this for my 21st birthday, and it was the best present I had gotten (and have gotten) in a long time.
If you like Greek myths, you will love this book. If you just like stories, you will love this book.
The only inaccuracy is that to make the stories age-appropriate, many of Zeus' "adventures" are somewhat censored, but not in a major way.
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