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Greece! Rome! Monsters

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Greece! Rome! Monsters
By John Harris. Illustrated by Calef Brown. (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum: 2002. 48 illustrations, Pg. 48.) ISBN: 0-89236-618-4.

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - December 31, 2002

Greece! Rome! Monsters! o' my. This delightful book by John Harris takes young readers on an energetic romp through Ancient Greek and Roman mythology.

Many of the creatures turning up in current fiction have their origins in these ancient myths. An example of a couple of books that are 'peopled' with creatures derived from mythology include J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books and The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle. You will also find characters from Greek and Roman mythology in many movies, such as The Little Mermaid. And, one of the 'fun' aspects of Greece! Rome! Monsters! is that you can share with your children the game of matching the mythical creatures in this book with their counterparts in modern literature.

In Greece! Rome! Monsters! readers will find unique, brief descriptions that retell the legends surrounding such creatures as the Basilisk, Centaur, Cerberus, Chimaera, Cyclops, Griffin, Harpies, Hippocamp, Manticore, Medusa, Minotaur, Pan, Pegasus, Phoenix, Salamander, Scylla & Charybodis, Sirens, Sphinx, and Unicorn.

This delightful book is also an excellent read aloud book. And, the text is accompanied by a wondrous assortment of illustrations created by Calef Brown, a Southern California illustrator. In addition to the main text, there is also a short "monster" quiz to test your mythology I.Q. The text is rounded out by the inclusion of a handy pronunciation guide.

Greece! Rome! Monsters! is sure to infuse readers with a sense of wonderment that will heighten their interest, and inspire them to pursue further study and interest in the subject of classical mythology.

Related Reviews:

The Greek Myths, By Robert Graves.
This is a massive book, and it is the standard reference book on Greek Mythology. It delves into the various creation myths, and births and lives of the various Greek gods, the role of the elemental forces in Greek mythology such as Chaos and Eros, as well as exploring the roles and stories of the Titans, the lesser gods, and other supernatural figures, such as witches.

World of Myths, introduced by Marina Warner.
Five books in one covering influencial myths from five ancient cultures. Includes: Greek Myths by Lucilla Burn, Roman Myths by Jane F. Gardner, Norse Myths by R. I. Page, Egyptian Myths by George Hart, and Celtic Myths by Miranda Green.

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