Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Wonder Book: Heroes and Monsters of Greek Mythology” as Want to Read:
A Wonder Book: Heroes and Monsters of Greek Mythology
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Wonder Book: Heroes and Monsters of Greek Mythology (Wonder-Books #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  435 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
From one of America's greatest writers come these classic tales of magical creatures and adventures written especially for children. Here are the stories of King Midas, the man who was able to turn everything he touched into gold; Hercules, the greatest and strongest hero of all time; the Gorgons, cruel witches with snakes for hair; and many other incredible warriors and e ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 12th 2003 by Dover Publications (first published 1852)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,423)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
rr
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
Sep 30, 2011 Maninee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-mythology
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
Amanda
Jan 02, 2016 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-myths
Had this book not been wrapped in plastic and I could have read the preface I wouldn't have purchased it. I have a fascination with Greek Myths, but the way Hawthorne changes these made the book honestly a pain to read. The preface warns the reader to these changes and excuses the language used. The title claims this is a children's book, but I would not agree. Hawthorne uses language that would confuse and bore most children. All in all I would not recommend this book and will probably not be k ...more
Rhys
Jan 02, 2016 Rhys rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recently I have been re-reading books that were important to me when I was young. I say "re-reading" but back then I rarely read them all the way through. I tended just to dip and skim. This time, decades later, I am reading them properly, from start to finish.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's A Wonder Book was possibly my first introduction to the world of Classical Myth (I can't be entirely sure about this). I remember that the stories made a great impression on me. The myths are retold with skill and cha
...more
Nan
Nov 20, 2010 Nan rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Apr 28, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah
Apr 21, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب اطفال جميل بس ممل بقي عشان هو للاطفال
وقع ف ايدي اسمه و اسم الكاتب متخيلتش انه كتاب اطفال لما اشتريته بس انا حبيت الاساطير اليونانية الي محكية بطريقة غير معقدة هنا
مطولتش فيه بس ده هيكون ف المكتبة للاولاد ان شاء الله
مش هاحكيلهم حكاية الارنب و البطة ده انا هاحكيلهم عن اطلس و بندورا و هيرا
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
Elena Delos (EscribadeAvalon)
Un hermoso clásico sobre clásicos. Una mirada más moderna a los mitos griegos muy bien narrados y emotivos.

Entretenida lectura para todos quienes amamos la mitología.
Logan
May 16, 2011 Logan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, own
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
Dilsh Wijesinghe
One of the most interesting book of Greek mythologies I ever read. There are wonderful stories in the book. Love it lot!
Jessedevevo
Oct 05, 2015 Jessedevevo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Greek Mythology. There's Heracles, Pandora, the three golden apples and the garden of Hesperides.
Lori Nemitz
Read between January & June 1983.

Original notes on book: good; retelling of old Greek myths!
Amanda
Jan 23, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It was really good. It was an easy quick read and I think it could get young kids interested in mythology.
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
Mohamed Yehia
ينصح به لسن من 5ل 15
Odoublegood
Dec 18, 2009 Odoublegood rated it really liked it
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
Jan 10, 2011 Kristine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, juvenile
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.
Katie
Dec 16, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I realize the literary importance of knowing the Greek myths, I've never been a fan. They've always felt somehow flat to me. What Hawthorne has done here is enchanting and engaging. He has given these ancient characters and their stories depth and charm. This book is a wonderful way to introduce children to these myths, and I wish I had had the pleasure and privilege of reading them when I was young.
Drucilla
Aug 09, 2013 Drucilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: h
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.
Jul 26, 2012 Gregory K. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jul 11, 2014 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
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
May 22, 2008 Carl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cast-aways
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
Jan 25, 2010 Krisette Spangler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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.
Mina
Jan 24, 2011 Mina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
الكتاب إعادة لسرد العديد من الأساطير اليونانية .. مثل صندوق باندورا، رأس ميدوسا و هي الأساطير التي عرفنا عنها الكثير من سلسلة ما وراء الطبيعه منذ سنوات ...
لم يقدم الكتاب جديداً سوى سلاسة الحكي مما يمتع لمن عرف و لمن لم يعرف تلك الأساطير
Dave
Aug 20, 2012 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 47 48 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Burgess Animal Book for Children
  • The Little Duke
  • This Country of Ours
  • Legends of Charlemagne
  • The Heroes, or, Greek Fairy Tales for My Children
  • Joan of Arc
  • The Four Million
  • Parables from Nature
  • Don't Open This Book
  • The World of the Short Story: A Twentieth Century Collection
  • Pocahontas
  • Along Came a Dog
  • Pagoo
  • A Whisper in the Dark
  • A Child's History of the World
  • Faeries (Magical Worlds of Fantasy)
7799
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...

Other Books in the Series

Wonder-Books (3 books)
  • Tanglewood Tales: A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys
  • A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales

Share This Book



“His stories are good to hear at night, because we can dream about them asleep; and good in the morning, too, because then we can dream about them awake. (Cowslip)” 10 likes
“Human beings owe a debt of love to one another because there is no other method of paying the debt of love and care which all of us owe to providence.” 5 likes
More quotes…