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The Heroes Or, Greek Fairy Tales for My Children Hardcover – 1 Feb 2009
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The story of Perseus and how he slew the Gorgon, Medusa
The tale of Jason and the Argonauts
The story of Theseus and how he slew the Minotaur
Story lengths differ: The tale of the Argonauts is twice as long as Perseus and Theseus. Readers may therefore want to read Theseus first followed by Perseus and finish off with the Argonauts. Unfortunately this free Kindle edition does not have any illustrations. Also, uncertainty over the correct pronunciation (e.g. Circe is sir-see) can, I think, be a bit off-putting and there is no guide to pronunciation included. The BBC Greek Myths series (starring Michael Gambon) helped me to visualise some of the scenes in Perseus and Theseus and I would recommend watching this DVD before reading those tales if at all possible. Failing this, it may help children to have the stories read to them by an adult who can bring the myths to life before leaving them to read them for themselves.
I asked for this book, as a birthday present, when I was young after having heard one of the stories read by a school teacher. I never read the book through completely for myself (until now) but still have it (boxed away somewhere). As an adult I've enjoyed the tales immensely. Perhaps, therefore, The Heroes - or Greek Fairy Tales for My Children should not be seen just as a book for children.
Riveting writing and great storytelling; makes me even more enthusiastic to continue my Class Civ studies. Also, it's free! Theres no harm in 'purchasing' it!
If you want to read about the myths and legends of old or even introduce them to your children then this is a nice collection to do it with. I'll just have to read them again, this time with the imagined voice-over of my old teacher.
I understood the unfolding of events in the three main myths that Kingsley wrote of (Theseus, Perseus and Jason) but many of the finer details of the Immortals that were come across through the course of the legends were not explained fully and I had a yearning to have these detailed more thoroughly. Goddesses like Athene, Icarus and the like had their tales explained in a few paragraphs before Kingsley flitted to the next part of the story. Additionally, there was an incredible amount of geography of the area included which I did find a little bewildering at times.
Nevertheless, this is free and it is not a textbook for me to "get to grips with the basics" and Kingsley, I'm sure, did not intend this to be a beginner's guide to the Greek myths.
Yet, I still enjoyed it despite some of the confusing elements regarding character and national history and it is definitely worth a read for being free.
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