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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Heroes - Greek Fairy Tales for My Children, 3 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for My Children (Kindle Edition)
This is a short collection of Greek myths which Charles Kinsley originally wrote for his children. It was published in 1856. There are three stories: Perseus (who slays the Gorgon and turns the wicked Polydectes to stone); The Argonauts (which follows the epic journey of the Heroes in Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece); and Theseus (who slays the Minotaur in the labyrinth at Knossos). Along the way we meet other well-known characters of Greek mythology as well as various gods and goddesses. For example, Daedalus(the wandering genius who designed the labyrinth for king Minos) is mentioned and Orpheus, whose music was so powerful it moved Hades to release Eurydice from the Underworld, accompanies Jason on his voyage.

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.
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