Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Greece! Rome! Monsters!

Greece! Rome! Monsters!
written by John Harris; illustrated by Calef Brown
2002 (J. Paul Getty Museum)
Source: Orange County Public Library

If you want an easy to read primer on mythology, check out Greece! Rome! Monsters!. Twenty Greek and Roman monsters are featured in this entertaining book. The text is humorous and informative. Author John Harris knows what interests young readers. You get the scary details regarding each monster combined with their place in mythology. The cover monster Chimaera breathed fire with the head of a lion and also had a goat's head growing in the middle with a snake as a tail! It takes the hero Bellerophon and his horse Pegasus to take out this frightful creature. Other monsters spotlighted include the Basilisk, Cyclops, Harpies, and the Phoenix. Calef Brown's artwork is distinctive and funny.

This would be a great book for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Those readers will enjoy learning the background of these legendary creatures. Greece! Rome! Monsters! would also be an excellent resource for teaching figurative language. Several words and phrases (panic, siren's song) come from these mythological beings. It would be an informative to discuss why these creatures were created in ancient cultures.

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