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Theseus and the Minotaur HC (Toon) Hardcover – 11 Sep 2014

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Raw Junior, LLC; 01 edition (11 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935179616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935179610
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1 x 25.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 900,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Sound effects and wry dialogue ... lighten the drama.... Pommaux's suggestion that Theseus neglected to change his ship's black sails because he was "distraught" over leaving Ariadne behind is a nice touch.
--Kirkus Reviews

French author-artist Pommaux offers a solid graphic retelling of the life of Theseus, first published in France. ... Character bios, pronunciations, and an index round out a handsomely illustrated introduction to a classical hero.
Publishers Weekly
Pommaux s illustrations focus on light coloring and shading, making the sometimes brutal story gentle enough for younger audiences. Large splash panels really draw the eye and give a great sense of story, which should help students who may struggle to read the large blocks of text. ... Teachers looking for a great resource on this myth will be pleased. Added at the end is an in-depth glossary that further explains characters and topics only briefly mentioned in the text, making it an ideal resource for those learning about this myth for the first time.
Booklist
A widely appealing tale in which a heroic warrior reclaims his destiny. ... The full-color art complements and enhances the narrative. ... An accessible, informative, and enjoyable read.
School Library Journal
Sound effects and wry dialogue ... lighten the drama.... Pommaux s suggestion that Theseus neglected to change his ship s black sails because he was "distraught" over leaving Ariadne behind is a nice touch.
Kirkus Reviews
Absolutely brilliant! Smart and well told -- plus the art is sublime.
Jeff Smith, Author of Bone
An ancient story wonderfully retold in a perfectly ancient way, graphically," "text and pictures more together than either could be alone.
Jon Scieszka, author of The Stinky Cheese Man
Adventure, mythology, and a Minotour! What's not to like!
Frank Cammuso, author of Knights of the Lunch Table"

About the Author

This is the American debut of Yvan Pommaux, one of France s most prominent children s book authors. Beloved for his comics and heavily illustrated books, he s the recipient of the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris. There are three schools named after him in France."


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For the first time I'm not terribly impressed with a TOON book. What I did like was the art. It amazingly captures the ancient Greek style to perfection. The story is true to the original myth, including even little details such as briefly mentioning leaving Ariadne on an island. It also doesn't skip over the adult themes often found in Greek mythology but manages to allude to them while keeping the book age appropriate. For example the story of how the Minotaur is born of a bull and human. As a great reader of the Greek myths I appreciate all this in good children's retellings. However I found the book an uncomfortable read, especially one labeled a graphic novel and wonder how appealing it actually is to kids. It is a large, picture book size and the story is mostly told in the narrative with illustrated frames and text bubbles which simply reaffirm what has already been told in the text. There are only a few places, mostly nearing the end, where the speech bubbles actually take over in telling the story. Also, since this is a Greek myth there are obviously a lot of strange Greek names that no child will know how to pronounce properly and the editorial decision here was an awkward one. Every time a new proper noun is introduced it is marked with an asterix and footnoted with a pronunciation guide. This ends up creating sentences with multiple asterixis and clusters of tiny phonetic dictionary pronunciations at the bottom of almost every page. It distracted heavily from the flow of reading, imho.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mythical 25 Mar. 2015
By Melanie Gilbert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Synopsis: The Athenian king Aegeus marries Aethra, who mates with both Poseidon and Aegeus, to become the mother to Theseus. Poseidon sends Minos, the king of Crete, a white bull which mates with Minos's wife, Pasiphae, to birth a half-man, half-bull creature called Minotaur. Minos's son, Androgeos, is killed by the white bull. Theseus slays the Minotaur with the help of Minos's daughter, Ariadne, whom he abandons on a deserted island for the god Dionysus, before marrying her sister, Phaedra.

Have you got all that?

Theseus and the Minotaur could be an allegorical tale for the labyrinth that is Greek mythology with its complex relationships, confusing agendas, and confounding names. A graphic novel can be a great vehicle by which the elementary reader can be exposed to a-maze-ing tales such as this one.

Toon Graphics tries to rise to the challenge with this beautifully illustrated work. Yet, the densely arrayed images per page, combined with the wordy narration throughout - in addition to the speech bubbles (in a different font) - makes this godly tale feel merely mortal. An exciting myth like this needs larger art and more than 48 pages to be told.

There's terrific attention to detail including the 2-page trading card recap followed by the helpful index. Overall, "Theseus" is an artistic gem, but is way too wordy for both the graphic novel concept, and the target audience of elementary readers.

I recommend this work for your middle and older readers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read with suspense as Theseus makes great sacrifices and saves the day. 2 Dec. 2014
By Young Mensan BookParade - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book Theseus and the Minotaur is AMAZING! Theseus, son of a god and a king was destined for greatness. As he shows self- respect and battles the Minotaur, he was a true hero. Also, as son of the ruler of the seas, Poseidon and the great king Aegeus, he had control over the seas and great strength, this had greatly helped him on his mission to battle the Minotaur and save many children. Read with suspense as Theseus makes great sacrifices and saves the day.

Review by Young Mensan Saksham R., age 9, Central New Jersey Mensa
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hero of Athens 3 Nov. 2014
By tvtv3 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR is a graphic novel adaptation of the myth and legends of the Greek hero, Theseus. The book tells the story of both Theseus and the Minotaur, beginning with their somewhat unusual births until their fateful meeting in the Labyrinth of Crete. The book also tells about Theseus' journey home after meeting the Minotaur. The end of the book contains a visual reference guide that provides more information about key characters in the story. In addition, there is an illustrated index at the very end of the book that provides more information about almost all of the characters discussed in the book. Lastly, there phonetic pronunciations for most of the names and places in notes at the bottom of each page. These notes provide readers a valuable service so they can correctly pronounce names and places. THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR has a suggested reading level for children ages 8 and older. I enjoyed the book's illustrations. Overall, THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR is a faithful graphic adaptation of the stories of Theseus that works well for introducing middle-aged children (around 4th grade) to Greek mythology.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for ages 8+, I'd say middle school and up 12 Sept. 2014
By Stuart Dunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Theseus and the Minotaur is a Greek myth that needs no real introduction or explanation. Master French cartoonist, Yvan Pommaux, does a masterful job starting the story from the very beginning though. We learn of Theseus' mom, Princess Aethra, and how both Poseidon and King Aegeus, "had" her. We see a brief glimpse of her raising her son, Theseus, but during that time we learn a great deal about the background and bitter hatred between Aegeus, King of Athens, and Minos, King of Crete. We are then taught where the Minotaur came from. It wasn't explicit, but there were a few images that were surprising. After this, we see Theseus as an adult and learn of his feats, before he finally meets his father, Aegeus. Theseus then goes off to slay the Minotaur, and does so with some help that he received from King Minos' daughter.

There were things I liked and disliked about this book. Let me start with what I didn't like. For starters, it did not read like a comic book. There were text bubbles, but they were few and far between. It more felt like reading a narration than characters interacting. The other thing I didn't like was the sexual themes in the book. Yes, it's Greek mythology, so it is to be expected, but the suggested reading level is 8+. With these themes, it should be middle school, and probably late middle school at that. What I liked is that this adaptation stayed true to the mythology. I also liked that there was phonetic pronunciations of the hard to pronounce Greek names. This is helpful for kids and adults alike. The index and further readings at the ends were also a nice touch and super helpful. Last, but not least, the illustrations were great, but of course I knew they would be! Overall, a very good graphic novel, just use your judgment on what age to let your children read it.
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavily Narrated for a Graphic 23 Dec. 2014
By Nicola Mansfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For the first time I'm not terribly impressed with a TOON book. What I did like was the art. It amazingly captures the ancient Greek style to perfection. The story is true to the original myth, including even little details such as briefly mentioning leaving Ariadne on an island. It also doesn't skip over the adult themes often found in Greek mythology but manages to allude to them while keeping the book age appropriate. For example the story of how the Minotaur is born of a bull and human. As a great reader of the Greek myths I appreciate all this in good children's retellings. However I found the book an uncomfortable read, especially one labeled a graphic novel and wonder how appealing it actually is to kids. It is a large, picture book size and the story is mostly told in the narrative with illustrated frames and text bubbles which simply reaffirm what has already been told in the text. There are only a few places, mostly nearing the end, where the speech bubbles actually take over in telling the story. Also, since this is a Greek myth there are obviously a lot of strange Greek names that no child will know how to pronounce properly and the editorial decision here was an awkward one. Every time a new proper noun is introduced it is marked with an asterix and footnoted with a pronunciation guide. This ends up creating sentences with multiple asterixis and clusters of tiny phonetic dictionary pronunciations at the bottom of almost every page. It distracted heavily from the flow of reading, imho.
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