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Greek myths for children — fascinating and magical!

We’re going to Athens this weekend! It’s going to be a short trip but we’re all super exited. I’ve been to Athens a few times before, and I just love that city — the mix of the old and the new is so magical.
To get everyone in the spirit of the (Old) Greeks and their Gods, I started reading the myths to Ava and Casper. They are fascinated by the stories! And Sara and Pim started reading the Percy Jackson series — it’s been an instant hit as well.

I must say I found it quite difficult to find much about the Greek Myths for children, which is a pity because the stories really are so wonderful. So any advice is welcome :)! But here’s what I have found so far:

Greek Myths for children

Greek Myths for Children

  • As I said above, Pim and Sara are reading the Percy Jackson series, which they LOVE. Percy Jackson is a teenager who discovers he is a half God — the descendant of a Greek god! This explains the fact that he is dyslexic (he appears to be hard wired to read Ancient Greek) and has ADHD (which are, of course, ‘battlefield reflexes’). Percy is submerged into the battle of the Gods and has to use his special powers to fight monsters and deal with all sorts of difficulties.
    These are essentially the Greek myths translated to modern times! Two films have been made of the Percy Jackson series (The Lighting Thief and Sea of Monsters) which we will obviously watch as well. (Although I’ve read that the films are nowhere as good as the books!)
    Fun fact about the writer of Percy Jackson, Rick Riordan: his own son, whom the character of Percy Jackson is based on, has dyslexia and ADHD. When he was 9, he refused to read and hated school so much that he would hide under the table and cry. But he loved the Greek Myths, so his father would recount them to him, eventually inventing all sorts of new characters — and this is how Percy Jackson was ‘born’.  The books became a hit, Percy Jackson a hero, and Riordan started to receive fan mail from children who had ADHD or dyslexia. And instead of telling him they were feeling ashamed, they said they were now so proud of their disorder which connects them with the hero in their favourite books!
  • I’m reading the classic Greek Myths to Ava and Casper — a book published by Orchard in the ’90s which was recommended to me by my local bookseller. We really enjoy the stories which are told in such a clear and captivating way! So whenever we walk in the park now, where the Narcissus are slowly starting to bloom, Casper tells me — Look mama! There are those flowers that fell in love with themselves!
  • Lastly, we watched Disney’s Hercules — a romanticised animated film, also from the ’90s. It’s about the super strong half god who has to defeat monsters to prove to his father (Zeus) that he is worthy of living on the Olympus as a true God. Not great, but quite entertaining!

Greek Myths for Children

So again, if you have any tips to share, we would love to hear. Any general tips about Athens are welcome too, of course!

xxx Esther


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Comments (14)

Eva
February 15, 2019

Esther, enjoy Athens and thanks for the books recommendations.

We liked this one:
https://www.amazon.com/DAulaires-Greek-Myths-Ingri-dAulaire/dp/0440406943/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=


Esther in Amsterdam
February 21, 2019

Thanks! I will check it out! It looks pretty :).


Karina
February 15, 2019

Thank you for the recommendations, Esther. I have quite s bright daughter who just turned five. Do you think she’d be too young for the classic Greek myths by Orchard? Do you read it to your kids in English or translate it to Dutch as you read?


Esther in Amsterdam
February 21, 2019

I read it in English! I think it’s ok for a 5 year old, Casper is 6 and really enjoys it (I have to help him with the language a bit).


Victoria
February 15, 2019

Hi Esther,
I don’t have kids so far but I am generally interested in your babyccino posts. I lived in Athens for 3 months due to a research project and therefore can tell you a lot about the best places. There are so many! I can highly recommend a hike up to mount Lykabettus. There is a small church on top and even a cafe where you can have a delicious snack and enjoy the view. But mind the caterpillars on the street and the trees – the prickles are said to be toxic.
You also definitely have to visit Plaka, Anafiotika and the Filopappou hill (also a great view). Let me know if you need more recommendations and enjoy your stay. I love Athens and hope you will have a great time!
Best regards,
Victoria


Esther in Amsterdam
February 21, 2019

Thanks for you comment and tips, Victoria!! xxx


Nomi
February 15, 2019

In Dutch I used to read aloud Imme Dros’s translation of Ovids Methamorphoses to my then babysitting children (one of whom is now a pretty succesful writer herself!). And not ancient greek but ancient Roman: the Roman mysteries series are lovely to spark some more interest in the classical world through detective stories set in ancient Ostia.


Esther in Amsterdam
February 21, 2019

Thank you!! Will look into these! x


Ashley
February 15, 2019

My 5-year-old and I love reading D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. They also wrote a book of Norse Mythology which we’re excited to get next! For grown-up reading, Circe by Madeline Miller was one of my favorite books to come out last year.


Esther in Amsterdam
February 21, 2019

Thank you! xx


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Kate Higgs
February 16, 2019

I love your blog for tips and advice. I thoroughly recommend Atticus the Storyteller’s 100 Greek Myths by Lucy Coats. It is a beautifully illustrated book, but is also available as audio CDs. Our children love both and the CDs are perfect for car journeys; they don’t drive us adults crazy!


Esther in Amsterdam
February 21, 2019

Perfect!! We love audio books too!!


Jennifer
February 17, 2019

I like this post, I love Greece, (I named my daughter Olympia!) and my 6 year old is studying Greek mythology at her school. She is very captivated by all the Gods she is learning about. I am curious about this book you have. I have tried many in the past that I found at my local bookshop here in the US, but honestly they all were pretty violent and scary in my opinion and I didn’t feel it was right to introduce my children to it. Thank you for this recomendation, I’m going to check it out!


Simon Spence
February 20, 2019

We have a little range of books for young kids called Early Myths (earlymyths.com). We have 7 books in our range and each one covers the story of a hero (male & female!)- Perseus, Jason, Odysseus, Atalanta, Herakles, Theseus and Persephone
Each of the picture books is inspired by classical art and literature- something that this kids don’t need to know but the grown-ups like as the myths have been properly reserched.
Drop me a note through our site if you would like an complementary ebook copy.


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