With detailed pencil illustrations (every other page in color) and well organized and entertaining prose, Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire capture the simplicity and the complexity of the Greek myths for young readers. Although D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths is not divided into chapters, each two-page spread is (for the most part) about a different god or goddess, from the Titans to the Olympians to the worldly heroes descended from the gods. Some stories are more detailed than others, and in general it is a wonderful introduction to general Greek mythology for the young reader and interested adult alike.
I grew up with D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths so I have a hard time finding fault with it. I feel I have always known Zeus and Athena (she was always my favorite) and I remember pouring over the illustrations even at a young age. Now, as an adult, I loved rereading the stories, especially since I’ve read some ancient Greek literature myself, which was obviously the origin of the stories.
I believe reading this book was the origin of my love of Greek mythology, and I’d suggest it’s a wonderful starting point for kids. Given the current interest in mythology thanks to Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief series, I’ll also go out on a limb and suggest that this would also be a great book for kids who love reading about Percy’s adventures. Highly recommended.