Introduction to Greek Mythology for Kids: A Fun Collection of the Best Heroes, Monsters, and Gods in Greek Myth
by Richard Marcus, Natalie Buczynsky, and Jonathan Shelnutt
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Release Date: May 11, 2021
The description on the back of the book: “Discover the exciting world of Mt. Olympus! Immerse yourself in ancient Greece with this collection of facts and stories from Greek and Roman mythology. Within these pages you’ll learn about the most powerful Greek gods and goddesses, including Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, and Hades. But this book has more than just immortals! You’ll also discover the dangerous and intriguing world of ancient monsters, fantastical creatures, and human heroes that populate some of the most incredible stories from the time, including – Kronos: a Titan who swallows his newborn children; Persephone: a kidnapped goddess who becomes queen of the Underworld; Minotaur: a half-bull, half-man imprisoned in a labyrinth; Hydra: a poisonous serpent who grows two heads when one is severed and much more!”
Packed into 187 pages are five chapters covering:
The Gods Then and Now
Meet the Twelve Olympians
Older and Lesser Gods
Meet the Mythical Beasts and Monsters
This book is a great starting point for those new to Greek Mythology. The opening takes you on a walk through the oral and bardic traditions of mythology. Important dates in history as well as bodies of work such as The Iliad and the Odyssey are discussed as the landmarks in known Greek Mythology that they are.
Greece was known for its religious cults, shrines and styles of worship. The authors give an overview of these events and how it impacted social and political culture of the times. As well as the impact on the Greek and Roman cultures. A brief overview of the introduction of Christianity into Roman culture along with the Greek Gods surviving the Middle Ages is found within the first chapter.
Enough information is given to give the reader an understanding of events, but historical dates and events are referenced so that the curious reader has a reference point for further research. They continue to educate by explaining how the mid-to-late 20 the century in American culture assisted with the revival of the Greek and Roman gods through comic books, television, movies and books.
The chapter that introduces the twelve Olympians discusses their interactions with mortals and the human realm. Along with the benefits that the Gods brought to society of that time. The Olympians are then described by Greek Name, Roman Name, Sphere of Influence (love, war, marriage, etc), Symbols associated with them, Origin, family ties, Myths and Legends, Temples of worship and artistic depictions.
Older and Lesser gods describe the progenitor gods, the elemental parts of the universe, the Titans, the Underworld and those gods whose role was over something specific such as sleet and hail or gates and doorways. The descriptions of the older and lesser gods include the Greek Name, Roman Name, Type, Sphere of influence, and Origins and Myths.
Meet the Mythical Beasts and Monsters covers such famous creatures as Centaur, Cerberus and Gorgons. Their Greek and Roman names are provided, as well as a description of their appearance, origin, and an overview of their myths and legends. This is followed by a detailed description on more monsters found in various stories and trials of heroes.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is easily followed and provides an overview into the arc of Greek mythology and the corresponding history. The information provided allows for one to use as a research point if they so desire. The easy to read and understand format of this book works well to read aloud to children and break down into small sections of study. This also makes the book a great choice for those homeschooling or a school project book.
About the author:
Richard Marcus has previously written two books for Ulysses Press, What Will Happen In Eragon lV? and The Unofficial Heroes of Olympus Companion (being reissued). He has been a freelance arts critic since 2005 with his work appearing every where from the German edition of Rolling Stone to the Bangladesh Star newspaper. He currently edits the books section of the pop culture web magazine Blogcritics.org and is a monthly contributor to the web magazine Qantara.de published by German World Radio Service, Deutsche Welle.
Natalie Buczynsky is a history enthusiast currently living in the United States. She began her involvement with Ulysses Press in 2011 when they approached her about writing a guide to Grecco-Roman mythology. Since publication, Natalie has earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a masters degree in neuroscience and had the privilege of expanding her worldview through travel to Tanzania, Ukraine, Scotland, Italy, and many more fascinating corners of the world. A student of people and places, Natalie has enjoyed writing about topics from ancient mythology to pioneering science of the 21st century and everything in between but the Greeks and Romans (and their food!) will always hold a special place in her world.
About the Author:
Irisa MacKenzie is a meditation and mindfulness guide, reiki master and teacher, rune valdr practitioner, Viking re-enactor, spiritual drummer and artist. Irisa discovered meditation and mindfulness in her late teens. The next several decades were spent exploring different methods, studying, practicing and leading workshops and seminars on meditation and mindfulness in Pennsylvania and Central Ohio. More on meditation and mindfulness can be found at Irisamackenzie.com. Irisa’s art can be found on instagram, Facebook and Etsy as Viking Woman Creations or vikingwomancreations.com. During September and October her work can be found at the Ohio Renaissance Festival at the Wyld Runes booth.