D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths (Brief Thoughts)

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.

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. I loved this book as a kid! Athena was always my favorite as well. My parents still have our copy, and every now and then when I visit them I pull it out. I don’t think I’ve seen a better intro to mythology for kids.

  2. I didn’t discover this book until ten years ago or so, but my son has grown up with these pictures and stories. It has become a true family favorite for us!

  3. I am in love with this book. I had it as a kid too, and these are the pictures of the Greek gods that populate my brain. I only wish I’d had their Norse myths when I was young as well — I never got into the Norse gods, and I know I would have if I’d had the D’Aulaire’s. :/

  4. I bought this book for my daughter (now 12) last year when they were doing mythology at her school. We read a myth a night, and it was awesome. The pictures are so cool. I remember loving this book when I was her age. Everyone should pick this up!

  5. I grew up on this one too–I read and reread it constantly. I was thrilled to discover, taking a course on Greek art, just how much they had drawn on the real depictions of the gods and heros–it went up even higher in my estimation.

  6. This was one of my childhood favorites too. My youngest is currently obsessed with Greek mythology due to Percy Jackson, this will be one of her Christmas gifts, definitely.

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