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The Creature of Crete: Stories from Ancient Greece [Paperback]

John Harris , Tom Morgan-Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 2007
Heartless, dishonest, greedy and a bully, of all the kings of Ancient Greece, Minos was probably the worst. Some people called him the creature of Crete, some people said he was a monster. The truth was even worse.. These are stories of cowardice, courage, cruelty and cleverness, retold in ways that are exciting, frightening and rather surprising.

Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: notreallybooks (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 095521291X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955212918
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.8 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 344,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Harris is one of only a handful of full time professional storytellers working in the UK, and the only one who works exclusively with children and young people. He tells all sorts of stories from all over the world and his writing grows out of his storytelling - brilliant and exciting books in which you can find some of his most exciting, amazing and best loved stories.

All John's books are brilliantly illustrated in full colour throughout, and printed (in England!) on excellent quality paper from FSC sources - they're as delightful to look at and to hold as they are to read or have read to you.

You can find a lot more about John (including how to book him to visit your school) on his website (, but in the meantime here are a few things you might not have known about him:

He once told the Interstellar Council of the Gallaphrian Galaxy that Father Christmas is his dad. (Actually he's his uncle and when they found out it caused a spot of bother.)

His favourite holiday destination is the city of Ghallphatt in the country of Ukkamarsh on the planet Sarashnakalla. He has a friend who lives there - which is just as well 'cos the hotels are outrageously expensive.

When he's bored he chews off his own feet, but they always grow back again by the morning.

He has three cats, and a Dragon in his garden.

Not everything he says is the absolute truth.

Product Description


"These are the tales of the Minotaur, Daedalus and Icarus, and Theseus' triumph and deception of Ariadne. They are retold in an informal and humorous way, with modern dialogue and idiom, but still keeping faith to the tales and moral dilemmas. Crafted by John Harris from his work as an oral storyteller, the liveliness of the language is an attention keeper. It would be suitable for 10 upwards for either independent reading or reading aloud in class. The cartoon-like illustrations add to the humour and have their own poignancy, providing an opportunity for discussion in relation to the text." --The Schools Librarian Magazine

About the Author

John Harris is the only full-time professional Storyteller in Britain who works exclusively with children and young people. Tom Morgan Jones is a national award winning illustrator. Together they create unique and unforgettable books that appeal equally to boys and girls of all ages.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By BizLiz
This is exciting stuff - John Harris's version of some of the stories about the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. It's well written, well paced and the right length for both confident readers and more reluctant ones. Although there's lots of boys' own adventure stuff in it there's also some romance with the story of Theseus and Ariadne, with some very good points made about how boys and girls can get into some sticky situations by not being frank with each other from the outset - I wish I'd read it when I was younger!

John Harris is a regular visitor to my kids' school and by all accounts he is stunning. (The teachers say that they love listening to his stories as much as the kids do). This is his second book and I'd like to thank Amazon for stocking it because the high street bookshops only seem interested in stocking the usual rubbish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic retelling of timeless stories 3 April 2007
John Harris has done a wonderfully creative job in (re)capturing the narrative essence of these ancient myths and bringing them to life. Although confined to a book, the experience of reading these stories is much more immediate, as if someone were there in the room, sharing them with you. This is perhaps no surprise as Mr Harris is a professional storyteller by trade - and it shows. The language and pace of the book are reminiscent of an exciting oral tradition that sadly seems all but forgotten.

Added to this, the book is richly illustrated with, in turns, delightful, imaginative and terrifying illustrations by Tom Morgan-Jones. They enhance the text in often unexpected ways.

In short, it's a joy to look at and read. This should be compulsory reading for all children (and adults too).
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