A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys (Wonder-Book, #1)
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A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys (Wonder-Books #1)

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  229 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A Wonder Book is a collection of famous Greek myths beautifully retold and adapted for young readers. The collection consists of six tales: The Gorgon’s Head, The Golden Touch, The Paradise of Children, The Three Golden Apples, The Miraculous Pitcher, The Chimæra. This edition includes color illustrations by Walter Crane.
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Published June 19th 2012 by The Planet (first published 1852)
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My recent time with Hawthorne and Hawthorne scholarship has made me cautious about taking anything Hawthorne said about himself at face value, but I am inclined to agree with him when he remarked that The Wonder Book was some of his best work. I've read many re-tellings of classical myths for both children and adults, and I put Hawthorne's renditions among the very (very) best. His intention is not to remain faithful to the myths' ancient forms (at least not in any straightforward understanding...more
Maninee
I have always been fascinated by Greek mythology and, unlike many of my peers, have been reading about it long before I even heard of the Percy Jackson series. Nathaniel Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales was one of the first books that I had ever read on Greek mythology and nurtured my love for it. So when I saw the book on my school library shelf, I couldn't help picking it up.

This book was good read, though I must confess, I've read about most of the stories before from Roger Lancelyn Green's Tale...more
Nick
The quest for a suitable imaginative literature for the formation of the young continues.
Hawthorne offers us a great option here. His creative re-tellings of some few Greek myths, bracketed between a lighthearted telling of the setting in which Hawthorne's rhapsode, Eustace Bright, is cajoled into telling a story to his younger companions, and a narration of the effect it had upon his audience as they stroll through the hills and ravines of their home range.
Hawthorne does take some liberties her...more
Nan
Nov 20, 2010 Nan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: quirky kids
Recommended to Nan by: self
Shelves: child-read
I got this book (A Wonder Book) years ago to read to my son. I could not read it to him because of the stilted-sounding language! My 7 year old son has now picked it up and absolutely loves both the Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales. He doesn't complain about the language at all. Strangely, Tanglewood Tales is in the young adult section of the school library, and I had to write a permission note for my son to check it out. Sadly, neither of these books are on the "AR List" for school so he doesn'...more
Maggie McCormack
Hawthorne's reinvention of classical Greek myths is framed around the adventures of a group of children in the village called Tanglewood. The tales are wonderfully told with quirks and sleights-of-hand that can keep an older audience as equally entertained as the targeted younger audience. The book offers more than just the re-telling of old tales; it provides insight into the coming-of-age of certain characters (Eustace, a college student; and Primrose, a preteen girl), as well as interesting c...more
Daniel
In compiling this book, Hawthorne made an interesting selection of myths, choosing the tale of Perseus, that of King Midas, the parable of Pandora, one exploit of Heracles and sharing the experience of Philemon and Baucis as well as a retelling of Bellorophon's quest to mount Pegasus and slay the Chimera.

He brings in a Williams student telling the tales with a group of children in the Berkshires. Treacly at times and sanitized for a Nineteenth Century audience, the book does read well, with nice...more
Courtney
Hawthorne, Nathaniel
Tales and Sketches

In compilation only.

1) Preface
2) Tanglewood Porch: Introductory to "The Gorgon's Head"
3) The Gorgon's Head
4) Tanglewood Porch: After the Story
5) Shadow Brook: Introductory to "The Golden Touch"
6) The Golden Touch
7) Shadow Brook: After the Story
8) Tanglewood Play-Room: Introductory to "The Paradise of Children"
9) The Paradise of Children
10) Tanglewood Play-Room: After the Story
11) Tanglewood Fireside: Introductory to "The Three Golden Apples"
12) The Three Gol...more
Logan
These retellings of classic myths by Hawthorne didn't quite do it for us. We liked it at first, but then I realized I wasn't too keen on Hawthorne's changes to the myths and even though Logan reads many older books (e.g., E Nesbit, Kenneth Grahame, C.S. Lewis) the language in these stories was tedious for him. Turn of the century works for us, but 1850's seems too archaic for this 6-year-old. We kept meaning to go back to it, but I think we were both avoiding it. So I am officially abandoning it...more
Rosa Folgar
I had no idea Nathaniel Hawethorne wrote children's books?! What I really loved about this book, and actually what brought it to my attention, was the Greek mythology in it. Hawethorne does an amazing job of telling classic tales while making them interesting and accessible enough that anyone can understand them. The character Eustace himself, is a little eccentric and prides himself on his story-telling abilities, even tho he uses the ruse of keeping the Tanglewood kids quiet in order to weave...more
Odoublegood
I've just read this book again for the first time in decades (this is a Dover edition; the book is customarily known as A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys); now I want to find a copy of Tanglewood Tales, too. I still don't love the framing device, but I still do love the stories, especially the slaying of the gorgon and the story of Baucis and Philemon. I was entertained by the description of the breakfast served to King Midas.
Kristine
In this classic children's book, Hawthorne retells several timeless Greek myths with his own nineteenth century touch. The illustrations by the gifted illustrator Arthur Rackham complement the tales perfectly. The language is clearly not modern -- possibly a deterrent for some readers-- but these touching and vivid versions still carry enough power to delight the right young -- and young at heart -- readers.
Drucilla
Part of what makes this book great is the presentation. The book is gorgeous. Between the illustrations and the physical book, this is a book that you'd want to keep in your collection for a long time. Besides the appearance, the set up is great. The bookends for each story work really well and the way the stories are written provide a great introduction to Greek myth for children.
Gregory K.
Hawthorne added his usual flowery touch to several classic Greek myths in this book. The myths though are very familiar and have not been told in a way that makes them any less boring to read if you have already read them. It might be a good book to introduce younger readers to these myths (which was the original intent of the book) but older readers may want to skip this one.
Pete
Greek myths as told with Romantic flourish by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I read this with the boys, and they loved it. They even sat through Hawthorne's extended (like, really extended) Romantic depictions of the scenery---just to get back to the action of Hercules, Perseus/Gorgon, Bellerophon/Chimaera, etc. And through it all, I became more familiar with the myths myself!
Mandi Ellsworth
Of course, Nathaniel Hawthorne is a brilliant writer, and even with the older-fashioned grammar and words, my children really loved these classic stories, retold by a master. The only issue they had was that they thought the chapters were too long and we occasionally had to stop mid-story. I, however, loved every page. It was brilliant.
Carl
uggg, this is why i (insert word that starts with H, is 4 letters long, implies strong dislike and is automatically censored by goodreads)books. try it out, spell h.a.t.e. wo/ the periods and see if it posts this is bullshit, i wonder what other things they are censoring
Krisette Spangler
Hawthorne does a great job of retelling six tales from Greek mythology. My children and I enjoyed reading it together, and it gave them an itroduction to mythology. My daughter is standing here with me right now, and she wants you to know that she really liked it.
Alexander Rolfe
The children and I enjoyed this on our camping trip. It was probably more of a blessing to his generation than ours, but still well told and worth reading. He weaves some allegories of his own into the Greek myths, and adds a few thoughtful insights.
Dave
Hard to believe this was written 160 years ago, by the author of The Scarlet Letter to boot. Very entertaining breezy style. This edition has great illustrations.
Vivencio
enjoyed these tales as a boy so i didn't hesitate when i saw a copy @ the secondhand bookstore. will pass this on to my nephews and nieces.
Heather L
Finished reading "The Chimaera," which was the only story I really didn't remember. A good book, and fun to read for children and adults.
Devin
I thought this book was a great children's book. I'm keeping it for when I have kids. ughh, I can't imagine that right now.
Darcy
Hawthorne has such a wonderful way with words. I know this is juvenile literature, but I enjoyed every moment.
Cari
Another book not read in school, though this one wasn't a familiar title so it was a nice find to read as well.
Whitney Townsend
I don't know how I missed this book when I was young. A very enjoyable version of six Greek myths for children.
Kevin
Hawthorne puts his own twist on familiar fairytales and other childrens stories. An awesome collection.
Vicki
just finished reading with my students. enjoyed the way hawthorne wrote these stories from mythology.
Amber
Review by Blake: Ehh, it was ok. It didn't have as much action and adventure as I expected.
Beka
Some nice retellings of favorite Greek myths.
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Nathaniel Hawthorne was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. He is seen as a key figure in the development of American literature for his tales of the nation's colonial history.

Shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, Hathorne changed his name to Hawthorne. Hawthorne anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828. In 1837, he published Twice-Told T...more
More about Nathaniel Hawthorne...
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