D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths

Common Sense Media says

Action-packed, fascinating intro to Greek myths.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids learn about the Greek gods -- their stories and about ancient Greece. Most schools still teach about them and this book is a great introduction.

Positive messages

The Greek gods often behave badly  -- but that's the point. They are there as archetypes and lessons can be learned from their actions and stories.

Positive role models

The Gods embody human qualities of anger, love, jealousy, greed and more. There are great heroes, heroines, and anti-heroes who are equally instructive about how to behave in the world of mortals.

Violence & scariness

Heroes kill monsters, gods kill humans, nothing graphic. Elements of classical myth include torture, kidnapping, the Underworld, and so on. Some of the myths are tragic.

Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the stories are eternal, and most of the important ones are here. Kids have always loved these tales and this volume probably has the most entertaining presentation for kids. The book is a classic and one kids will love to hear read aloud.

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What's the story?

The Creation and Ages of the world, according to the adventurous ancient Greeks! Gods wield magic and power to meddle in human affairs. Monsters walk the Earth, and are overcome by heroes performing impossible tasks. This action-packed, attractive book is a fascinating introduction to one of the pillars of Western Civilization, and should be a part of every child's library.

Is it any good?


The d'Aulaires present this rambunctious bunch with admirable clarity. The stories are filled with delightful nuggets of information, and the illustrations repay study. One such is the frightening portrayal of the aging of minor goddess Eos' young prince. She asks Zeus to give him immortality, but forgets to mention eternal youth. The helpful little robots of Hephaestus, god of smiths and fire, appear almost incidentally, along with his robot dog, and readers learn indirectly that Hephaestus is also god of toys.

But it is the book's clarity above all that delights. Though the d'Aulaires pack a lot of story into small spaces, the text and pictures combine to ensure that they never lose their readers. A pronunciation guide, though, would have been helpful.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the flaws of the larger-than-life figures in Greek myths. How are the immortals like humans? How are they different?

Book details

Author:Ingri d'Aulaire
Illustrator:Ingri d'Aulaire
Genre:Historical Fiction
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:September 19, 1962
Number of pages:192
Publisher's recommended age(s):9 - 12

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bygfive September 9, 2009
i think its a really good book
What other families should know
Educational value
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byeliette August 16, 2012

A classic!

My son (age 8) read the first Percy Jackson book this summer and developed a real interest in Greek mythology. Fortunately, my mother had hung on to my childhood copy of this book. I loved it then, and he loves it now--he read the whole thing this summer in the span of a week or two. Greek mythology is referenced so much in Western literature and this book covers it really well. The illustrations are great, and the writing is clear and accessible. Really a classic.
What other families should know
Educational value


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