Lisa Vegan's Reviews > Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet

Z is for Zeus by Helen L. Wilbur
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's review
Feb 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: childrens, fiction, non-fiction, picture-books, social-culture, fairy-folktales, history, reviewed
Recommended for: school aged children interested in learning about Greek myths & ancient Greek history
Read on April 25, 2010

This is not an alphabet book for preschoolers learning their ABCs, but an informational book for school aged children. I loved Greek mythology from the time I was introduced to it, and I know many kids today feel the same way (The Lightning Thief enjoys great popularity!) so I think this book will appeal to kids who know nothing or just a little about the subject; it’s a book that works fine as an introduction.

I loved the format of this book. For each letter there’s a poem in rhyme four lines long and then one page of information on each subject. The words used for each letter were perfect, I thought, starting with A is for Ancient Greece. The information was, of course, truncated but it’s given in such an interesting way, and the whole book works as a story too: characters and concepts often appear on more than one letter’s page. There’s information that applies to today also. For instance, made clear is where we get the phrases, “It’s Greek to me” and “Achilles’ heel” and the “Midas touch” among others. There is a Glossary of the Gods in the back of the book, but with only twelve of the gods listed.

I especially like that Greek mythology and ancient Greek history are covered because I think some readers have read the myths without knowing anything of the history and some read the history without being familiar with the myths. Here, they complement and explain one another.

The illustrations fit the book very well and they provide a plethora of information on their own. They’re a lot of fun and are a huge contribution to the book, though a couple of them could be scary to some young children.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Sounds extremely fun! It's not at my library yet but I'm adding it to my TBR list :-)

Lisa Vegan Kathryn, Yes, it was fun.

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