Greek Myths for children


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Greek Myths for children

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Edited: Aug 13, 2013, 10:01 am

I would like to start reading my daughter some ancients myths and legends, but I don't really know where to start or which books have stories written in a way like the fairytales.

This reading at bedtime or other times would be a way for me too to remember and expand on the wonderful stories I remember from school, and hopefully deepen my understanding of many classics and of history.

I own Bulfinch's Mythology, and am slowly working my way through it.

Aug 13, 2013, 8:19 am

My favorite is D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. I've had various copies since I was in early elementary school. The myths are told in a very simple but straightforward manner, and there are huge, beautiful illustrations that really help kids' understanding.

Aug 13, 2013, 11:39 am

I will second norabelle414's suggestion. It's not a title I read myself, but my 8-year-old daughter borrowed it from her teacher and devoured it. Interestingly, she was not captivated at all by D'Aulaires' similar book for Norse myths.

Aug 13, 2013, 11:45 am

Thanks, I'll have a look online for that.

I got inspired to look for books in my library as well, will try some tomorrow hopefully.

Edited: Aug 13, 2013, 2:27 pm

Please let us know what you find. I have a title I inherited, haven't read myself yet but am itching to read to my daughter. (1) But we're plowing our way through Lord of the Rings at the moment, so it will wait ... but I'm keen to expose her to some of the "origins" of modern tales, and see if she builds an appreciation like mine.

(1) Wonder Stories: The best Myths for Boys and Girls by Carolyn Shirley Bailey

ETA footnote

Aug 13, 2013, 3:47 pm

They will most likely be in Dutch, but I'll check to see if they're translations from English.

How old is your daughter? I need a reason to read LotR again :)
(although this time I'd prefer to read the English text, I doubt I'd be allowed to read that to her...)

Aug 13, 2013, 4:49 pm

Ha! She's 8, and clearly she doesn't grasp everything, especially the landscape description and such, but she's committed to reading it, and I love reading it aloud. Not to mention, a great excuse for me to read it again. She says we'll be reading Silmarillion next, and I've just nodded. ;)

You mention reading in Dutch -- I've thought about having a go in German, but I'm convinced it will be better for my fluency than for my enjoyment. I've not attempted it yet.

Aug 14, 2013, 2:28 am

This series could interest you: Stephanides Brothers' Greek Mythology.

The myths are adapted to children and the books are plenty of illustrations (at least in the Spanish edition I read when I was a kid).

These Rosemary Sutcliff's books are interesting too:

The Wanderings of Odysseus
Black Ships Before Troy

Edited: Aug 14, 2013, 3:02 am

I've always been fond of The Shining Stars by Ghislaine Vautier, subtitled Greek Legends of the Zodiac. The tales are short but nice illustrations.

There's also Favorite Greek Myths by Mary Pope Osborne.

Aug 14, 2013, 3:38 am

I first met the Greek heroes in the retellings of Gustav Schwab. Depending on the edition, the texts are not too dumb to be enjoyed by adults.

Aug 19, 2013, 8:50 pm

As a child I read and reread Bulfinch's and loved it. It was an old edition even then, dating from my mother's childhood. The illustrations were photos of classical sculptures--Hera, Hercules, Laocoon, Perseus and Medusa, and so on.

I wasn't put off by the stiff and somewhat archaic language. I hated books that talked down to children. Instead I liked gaining strength as a reader by reading books that might have been a little bit beyond me. Not only did children's editions generally have an inflated, doughy feel, taking too many words to explain things too simply, but they left out the good stuff.

Before I was ready to read it myself, my mother told me many of the stories from memory, in her own words. When I came to the book as a reader, the familiarity of so many of them welcomed me in and led me to read the rest.

Edited: Aug 20, 2013, 2:28 am

I understand. It's a bit how I want to tell them to my daughter, so she knows about the characters already and can read about them in more detail later.
What I find with Bulfinch is that I miss context sometimes. The Big Picture. Perhaps once I'm completely through it will have provided me with enough related stories to stitch it together in memory.

I'm currently reading the Odyssey in the Samuel Butler prose translation, and finding it much more accessible than I imagined. It's fun to suddenly recognize parts from 1st class Greek, almost 25y ago, again.

Edited: Aug 20, 2013, 5:51 am

You do not have to spend at all. There is a very interesting website, for a parent to read the easy to understand Greek myths written for children.

Note: There is a "story" within a story, a good perspective of story-telling technique suitable for a child's understanding and knowing the meaning of a story.

Another interesting website, this time you have to open your wallet.

Note: Aesop's Tales is another good book for children. Life lessons.Many available versions
for children.

Aug 20, 2013, 5:48 pm

My brother-in-law loves mythology and would tell stories to his children. Don't know what books he used. But once when I was visiting, my very young nephew asked me if I wanted to watch the tape of Fantasia with him. I said sure.

There's a moment in Fantasia where Zeus parts the clouds. My nephew turned to me and said, "Look! It's Dr. Zeuss!"

Aug 21, 2013, 10:05 pm

>14 PhaedraB:

That is fabulous. Can't make that stuff up. (If you did, don't tell me.)

May 21, 2014, 9:35 pm

I can't beat that. But when I told my toddler about the various night sky constellations, he later said "Look, it's Mr. Orion."