Greek Heroes: Top Ten Myths and Legends

Greek Heroes: Top Ten Myths and Legends
Marcia Williams
Walker Books

Well-known for her adaptations of classic tales into comic strip format for younger readers, Marcia Williams has chosen ten heroes almost all of whom are male to present in this collection and all having the requisite characteristics – strength, looks, charm and brains. Marcia lists ten heroic essentials on the opening spread then goes on to introduce the gods of Olympus, they who hold in their hands the fate of every would-be hero, most importantly those we meet in this book.

I love the way a cheeky Pan puts down his musical pipes and moves around the beautiful borders augmenting Marcia’s comic strips with his interjections, as readers meet first Perseus, slayer of the gorgon Medusa; Bellerophon destroyer of the Chimera, who loses his winged horse Pegasus in so-doing, and then Atlanta – she who uses her spear to kill a monstrous boar.

The remaining encounters are with Jason, Achilles – he of the vulnerable heel; daring Heracles who spent ten years undertaking the ten labours set by King Eurystheus; Theseus, the stunningly beautiful Psyche, tragic lovers Orpheus and Eurydice and finally, Odysseus of Trojan horse fame who blinds the Cyclops, resists the song of the Sirens is captured and kept for seven years by a nymph, Calypso and finally returns home to his wife Penelope who has trouble recognising him after so long apart.

This is enormous fun for individual readers and a terrific primary classroom resource.

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