Greek Myths re-imagined for toddlers – book review and giveaway

How cute are these Mini Myths books? When Abrams & Chronicles Books asked if I’d like to review them, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

I loved the idea of children getting a (very) early introduction to the classic Greek mythology. It’s foundational to Western literature, after all.

But could complex and somewhat terrifying stories like those of Pandora’s Box and Hercules’ Twelve Labours really be re-imagined for toddlers?

Mini Myths-2-2

Mini Myths-3-2

Three-year-old Talitha and I love these books. She requests them over and over and I’m happy to read them repeatedly. She even asks me to read the section at the end which tells the original story in full.

In Be Patient, Pandora, Pandora is rei-magined as a mischievous tot who opens a box of cupcakes her mother tells her not to. When the contents come flying out, only one with a heart remains, symbolic of hope.

Using humour that young children immediately get, the book goes to the heart of the myth’s message. The same can be said of Play Nice, Hercules.

Instead of killing his whole family (eek!), Hercules wrecks his sister’s building blocks. As he helps her put them together again, those familiar with the story will notice that each block bears an image representing one of the labours Hercules had to accomplish to redeem himself.

In fact, when we’re reading the story in full, Talitha loves to identify a block for each labour.

Mini Myths-4

Play Nice, Hercules
and Be Patient, Pandora, written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli are truly beautiful and imaginative hardcover books. I’d love see Holub and Patricellis’ take on more of the ancient myths in future.

Abrams & Chronicles Books is giving away three sets of these books to readers of this blog. To be in with a chance of winning, tell me what your favourite Greek myth is and enter the Rafflecopter widget below. If you’d like to purchase your own copy, the books retail at Β£4.99.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends 12.00am on October 2nd 2014. Open to UK residents only. Entrants’ email addresses will be passed on to the Circus Queen newsletter – you can opt out at any time.


  1. September 16, 2014 / 3:08 pm

    I love these! What a great idea! I also probably don’t know a lot of these stories, so it’d be an educational read for me as well as the kids. I’ll be checking these out!

  2. September 16, 2014 / 5:48 pm

    I saw these somewhere recently and thought they looked good, wouldn’t mind some to put away for little man πŸ˜‰

  3. kim plant
    September 16, 2014 / 6:31 pm

    that Aphrodite was the goddess of love I always believe she exsisted

  4. Ashleigh Allan
    September 16, 2014 / 7:02 pm

    I don’t really remember any although I am sure I did do it at school at one point! I would love to learn with my daughter!

  5. Jo welsh
    September 16, 2014 / 9:30 pm

    I don’t know as much Greek mythology as I’d like but Medusa certainly sticks in my mind

  6. Lucy Farmer
    September 17, 2014 / 10:24 am

    My favourite myth is of the flying horses, Pegasus.

  7. September 17, 2014 / 10:31 am

    i loved learning about greeks and romans in school (i’m pretty sure we lumped the two together haha). cute illustrations in this book!
    laura redburn recently posted..creative blog hop

  8. Zoe
    September 17, 2014 / 10:38 am

    I love the myth of Orpheus – so sad πŸ™

  9. September 18, 2014 / 6:56 pm

    Icarus is the one that springs to mind, also poor old Sisyphus pushing his rock up the hill again and again – reminds me a bit of my laundry basket…

  10. September 19, 2014 / 11:56 am

    Phew tricky question, there are so many good ones. Apollo and the Oracle of Delphi is definitely a contender.
    Carolin recently posted..Get your home ready for autumn

  11. September 22, 2014 / 10:58 pm

    My little man likes the one about Perseus and Medusa at the moment. This is a great giveaway, fingers and toes crossed

    Laura x
    Laura recently posted..Styling up your new kitchen

  12. September 25, 2014 / 3:11 pm

    im a bit embarrassed to say that i dont know a lot about greek mythology.these would educate me as well as my 2 year old!
    Rebecca Phillips recently posted..C’s 2nd Birthday

  13. Rosalind Blight
    September 26, 2014 / 11:11 pm

    along with alot of others unfortunately i dont remember alot about greek mythology but vaguely remember pegasus

  14. kim neville
    September 30, 2014 / 10:34 am

    I remember The myth of Orpheus

  15. iain maciver
    October 1, 2014 / 3:51 pm


  16. Claire Davies
    October 1, 2014 / 4:44 pm

    My favourite one is the myth of Medusa.

  17. Katie Kingsbury
    October 1, 2014 / 4:48 pm

    Got to be Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece.

  18. Laura Pritchard
    October 1, 2014 / 6:00 pm

    I love the story of the Trojan horse.

  19. Lucy Batchelor
    October 1, 2014 / 8:23 pm

    Jason and the Argonauts. Or Perseus. Or Cronos eating his own children and vomiting them back up and they killed him. Too man to chose from!

  20. taja mckenzie
    October 1, 2014 / 8:28 pm

    andromeda and perseus

  21. shirley evans
    October 1, 2014 / 8:39 pm


  22. Caroline S
    October 1, 2014 / 9:50 pm

    I remember having a really beautifully illustrated children’s version of the Odyssey which I loved. These books look like they’d be great for my two littl’uns.

  23. Monika S
    October 1, 2014 / 10:19 pm

    Trojan horse myth

  24. Natalie Crossan
    October 1, 2014 / 10:54 pm

    Medusa xx

Leave a Reply to kim plant Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.