Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Favorite Greek Myths

Rate this book
Retells twelve favorite Greek myths

96 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1988

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Mary Pope Osborne

1,023 books2,179 followers
Mary Pope Osborne has channeled a lifelong love of exploration and travel into one of the most popular children’s book series of the past two decades. With her fantastic Magic Tree House series, Mary Pope Osborne keeps the good times rolling for kids all over the world.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
395 (36%)
4 stars
382 (35%)
3 stars
240 (22%)
2 stars
58 (5%)
1 star
13 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 114 reviews
Profile Image for Zia.
18 reviews
May 14, 2009
I think it's dumb how she uses the Roman names of the gods instead. The book is called "Favorite GREEK Myths", not "Favorite Roman Myths". If it's a book about Greek mythology, she should use the Greek names. It confuses me, and it's really annoying.
Profile Image for dianne b..
644 reviews107 followers
December 27, 2019
I love myth and so much of the baby pool we play our lives in can be seen, like Narcissus’ face, reflected in these classic tales. But it is time to retire most and rewrite the rest.

Midas - the version i recall learning has King Midas, greedy and selfish, with a complete lack of foresight. All he cares for is gold; so he loses the most precious thing, when his daughter runs in and surprises him with a hug.
In this version he is simply inconvenienced by hunger (darn those golden dolmas!) and Bacchus - old chap - reverses the wish. No lesson learned! You too can be Donald J. Trump and never suffer a consequence for a lifetime of crime, if you cultivate the right circle of god-like friends.

Actually there are many tired themes. Lots of unquestioned philandering males and viciously jealous females - jealous of looks, attention, whatever.
Many are brought down by their inability to obey - well, to adequately obey. Given directions, usually several steps - “But do NOT do…” the thing they simply MUST do.
And the familiar “don’t over-reach” lesson which i’m not crazy about, now that i think of it, either. The story here is Helios’ son Phaeton demanding to drive the chariot and dying. But we all remember learning not to fly too close to the sun, or take on monsters we are not strong enough to slay.
These are particularly bad messages for girls, who already hear way too much: “Smile, and just listen” when we should be teaching them to slay monsters and fly anywhere they want.
Now i think of Elizabeth Warren saying “Why run for President just to state all the things we cannot change?”

Take home message? Be obedient, fools. Never question authority. They’d never lie to you.
Like poor Psyche - if she’d just listened to her husband, and not her sisters! A very unhealthy message for abused and isolated women.

The story of Baucis and Philemon was new to me - and my favorite. It was a theme found in many cultures and every religion: charity and welcoming strangers (sans vetting!!) It was beautifully told. It also had a common myth - the cleansing of the evil world with a flood.
But I particularly loved awarding the good by recognizing the superiority and intrinsic divinity of Trees.

The illustrations are lovely and i read this with full lighting to appreciate those, and the smooth paper smells delightful for fellow book sniffers - but now i think i need some animal tales, Anansi maybe?
Profile Image for Soli.
215 reviews14 followers
October 22, 2014
Calificación: ★★

Buscando entre mis libros de cuando estaba en el colegio me tope con algunos de los de torre de papel; escogí el de Mitos griegos ya que no me acordaba de haberlo leído.

El gran pecado de este libro: Los nombres de los dioses
Aunque el titulo habla de dioses "griegos" todos los nombres de los relatos tienen los nombres en su versión romana...
No lo entiendo, por cuantas manos debió de pasar el libro en su proceso de publicación y ni una sola alma se indigno con este detalle; si les parecía muy difícil cambiar todos los nombres de los dioses ¡Les tengo la solución! cambien el titulo del libro :D
no se, se me ocurre algo como ¿Dioses romanos? *end of sarcams*

Ya terminando con esta reseña, el libro contiene historias simplificadas y basadas en el libro de Ovidio - metamorfosis, un buen comienzo para todos los chicos para que se adentren en el mundo de la mitología griega, de verdad es una lastima tan semejante error.
Profile Image for Annabeth Chase (hiatus).
40 reviews21 followers
May 18, 2022
Read this before I even knew what Percy Jackson was, and boy did it help a lot!
Now, that I've read it again, after reading the Percy Jackson series, I get a wave of nostalgia and a whole lot of references.

Would definitely recommend reading it!

Signing off,
Wise Girl 🦉
Profile Image for café  ☕️ .
44 reviews15 followers
July 2, 2022
la verdad es que es un libro que leí por la escuela hace muchos años pero lo sigo disfrutando aún, lo único que no me termina de gustar es que use el nombre de los dioses romanos ya que el título dice mitos griegos y pues si puede causar cierta confusión, sin embargo en calidad de contenido es muy ligero y fácil de leer, lo recomendaría a cualquier persona de cualquier edad que nunca haya leído mitos griegos.
Profile Image for Leonor.
362 reviews3 followers
February 15, 2019

Este libro orientado a escolares da a conocer los mitos griegos narrados por el romano Ovidio. Es por eso que los nombres de los dioses son los romanos y no los griegos, aunque su origen sea griego. No creo que eso sea tan difícil de entender, como muchos usuarios han publicado en sus comentarios.

Son varias historias cortas orientadas para los niños.


Son mitos bien narrados y explicados, que todos pueden entender. Son principalmente historias cortas, por lo que se leen rápidamente y son muy entretenidas. Siempre me ha gustado este tipo de literatura: mitos, leyendas, fábulas, cuentos, por lo que cuando ordenando los libros vi a éste que aún no había leído, no dudé y lo leí en un ratito.

Es interesante, tiene guías para el lector, se los recomiendo.

3.5 / 5 estrellas
Profile Image for Scout.
57 reviews26 followers
February 24, 2018
The book itself is very pretty, with gorgeous art and aesthetically pleasing typeface. The myths are short and sweet, and there are some lovely quotes nestled within the pages. Overall, a nice book. I'm not mad about the Roman names because at the beginning of the book, it clearly says, "nearly all of the myths in this collection are derived from the work of the Roman poet Ovid." The stories are originally Greek, but since they're taken from a Roman source, they do have Roman names. Many reviewers on here don't seem to get that.
Profile Image for Julie.
25 reviews
March 23, 2020
Osborne, Mary Pope. Favorite Greek Myths. (1989)
In this retelling of Greek myths by Mary Pope Osborne (she wrote the Magic Tree House series) the author introduces young readers to twelve classic Greek myths. In this anthology, I enjoyed two myths the most—Apollo’s Tree and The Great Bear.
In Apollo’s Tree, we learn the tragic tale of Apollo and Daphne. Apollo (the god of light and truth) gets into an argument with Cupid, the god of love. Although Apollo’s arrows can kill dangerous animals, Cupid counters that his arrows can be just as lethal. To prove his point, he takes two arrows and gives them separate purposes. The arrow with the lead-filled tip would condemn that person by always running away from love. The other arrow was filled with gold and it would doom that person to fall in love at first sight. Cupid pointed the lead-filled arrow at Daphne, the goddess of wild things. After being hit by the arrow, Daphne called to her father for help and asked that he would never make her marry and help her at any cost. Next, Cupid shot Apollo with the golden arrow; the first person he saw was Daphne and he fell instantly in love. He professed his love for Daphne and began chasing her through the woods. Daphne called for help from her father, a river god. As she yelled for help, Daphne began to transform into tree. Apollo was shocked over the loss of Daphne, his only love.
In The Great Bear, we learn of the tale of how the Big Bear and Little Bear constellation came to be. Jupiter, god of the skies fell in love with a woman named Callisto. She had a baby named Arcus. When Jupiter’s wife learned of his betrayal, she turned Callisto into a bear. In bear form, Callisto was separated from her beloved son, Arcus. Arcus was adopted by a family and Callisto stayed near by to watch over him. Over time, Callisto stayed away from Arcus and humans because she did not know how to fight, as a real bear would, and she did not want to be discovered. One day, Callisto and an adult Arcus crossed paths. Arcus was about to shoot Callisto with an arrow when she was saved by Jupiter. Jupiter took Arcus and Callisto and turned them into stars. Juno, the jealous wife, cursed them even further by not allowing the stars to fall into the ocean like other stars. “ For this reason, the Great Bear and Little Bear are the only two constellations that never set below the horizon.”
Both re-telling of these myths are accompanied by a full-page illustration of the main characters. In the story of Apollo and Daphne, the reader is treated to an illustration of a woman posed on a hilltop/hillside with tree branches sprouted above her, while a lovestruck Apollo is caught in mid-stride running to his first and only love. In the story of Callisto and Arcus, the illustration of a black bear surrounded by clouds, stars and a boy with a bow and arrow foreshadows the story. These illustrations enhance and preview the stories for the reader and gives them a visual reference point for their imagination.

Target Audience: Ages 8 to 12 years old
Profile Image for Victoria.
92 reviews
June 28, 2020
Lo releí y si bien los nombres de los dioses griegos están cambiado a los romanos, creo que es un libro sencillo para niños. Recuerdo que a partir de su lectura, me volví medio fan de la cultura griega. Son de lenguaje sencillo y es fácil de recordar.
A pesar del cambio de los nombres de los dioses, guardo este libro en un espacio especial ❤️
Profile Image for Heather.
507 reviews26 followers
March 23, 2021
It's title is Favorite Greek Myths but the author uses their Roman names throughout the entire book.... Um why. Finally at the end of the book she explains that she used the Roman names because Rome eventually conquered Greece and adopted their gods. Then why not write the book as Favorite Roman myths? She mixed them together and it's annoying. Either write about Greek mythology or Roman.
Profile Image for Kim.
80 reviews
March 22, 2010
Even though this is titled "Greek" myths, the author uses the Roman mythology names in the book. Very disappointing in that respect.
Profile Image for Dali.
1,851 reviews486 followers
July 4, 2013
Good for young an old a like.
15 reviews
November 17, 2021
This book is a whole lot of greek myths that people of Greece had made up of over 13 stories my favorite two are the kidnapping the four tasks and the golden apples. The kidnapping is about ceres and Personipha ceres daughter. Pluto king of the underworld wants ceres daughter for his wife so he gets permission from Jupiter and he consented then when she knew she can't get her back she dressed up as an old lady and people let her in their castle and ceres knew that the baby she was taken care of would die so she tried to make him a god then she mourned for her daughter to come back and the earth was no longer beautiful so the gods sent somebody to go get the daughter and she ate a seed and went back and the seed made her go back for 6 months every tear and that's how the seasons started. Then the golden apples were about a girl that was raised by bears and then she went away from them and ran in the fields and men started liking her so she said if I beat you in a race you will die but if you beat me I will marry you. one-day Hippomens sall Atlanta and he wanted to race her he prayed for her to be his wife a god told him to go get golden apples and when the race started he threw them in front of her and she went to go get it every time and that's how he one then the god got made for Hippomenes didn't give her present so she turned them into bears.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
17 reviews1 follower
January 21, 2022
Se narran varios mitos griegos, como la historia del Rey Midas ante caer en la terrible ambición, o la de Narciso se se enamora de su propia imagen, la verdad narra cosas interesantes y entendibles que a uno le gusta
Profile Image for Ensiform.
1,378 reviews139 followers
September 16, 2013
Osborne, the author of the Magic Tree House books, retells twelve stories of Greek myth in a very slim (75 not very dense at all pages) volume for children. As in Enid Blyton’s collection, these are tales mostly well-known to Western culture, also mostly from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: Orpheus and Eurydice, Echo and Narcissus, Midas’ greedy wish, Persephone and Hades, the ill-starred love of Cupid and Psyche. She also includes a few obscurities: Arcus, who shot his mother while hunting after she had been turned into a bear; the race of Atalanta and Hippomenes; and perhaps most obscure, the rather grim story of Ceyx and Alcyone, who turned into a kingfisher when her drowned husband washed ashore.

Osborne is a decent writer, and infuses the stories with fairy-tale timelessness while emphasizing their explanatory intent. She’s less captivating than Blyton, however, and her retellings lack detail and the rich color than the master raconteurs (Blyton, the D’Aulaires) do. She doesn’t, for example, mention Midas turning his children to gold, which gives the tale its real pathos; nor in her story of Orpheus in the underworld is there any menace conveyed from Charon or Cerberus. These tales are pleasant but thin and plain – and why revisit the classics if you’re not going to make them shine just a little brighter?
Profile Image for pauli bellino.
67 reviews
September 18, 2023
4⭐/5⭐ (esta calificación cuenta solo para este librito, no para libros de historias juveniles y todo lo q leo, tipo no se compara con libros que leo porque es una categoría para estos libritos, ni yo me entiendo pero es una calificacion indenpendiente(?)

Explorando en mi biblioteca me encontre con este librito de la mitología griega, y después de leer percy jackson me pregunté: porq no leerlo?😜 ademas es cortito

No es una historia si no que es un libro con mini historias de los mitos griegos mas conocidos, y me pareció muy interesante porque pude saber mas de todo lo q sería la mitologia griega y además son historias que explican tipo como surgieron determinadas cosas de la vida cotidiana. Obviamente esto es desde lo espiritual(? o lo que sea, porq esta todo lo científico y comparado con esto es como re wtf, pero esta bueno para saber más. Igual mente las historias parecen relatadas del siglo de jesucristo masomenos, pero me gusto bastante👍

repito: son solo mini historias de mitología griega
Profile Image for Bell Vallone.
4 reviews2 followers
December 3, 2014
I read it first when I was a child and I really liked it. But now, 9 years later, that I read Rick Riordan's series Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus,and did a lot of research about the greeks and romans Gods.I realized that Mary Pope Osborne called her book "Greek Myths" but used lots of Roman names for the Gods. Most Gods had not only different names in greek than in latin, but they had different personalitys too. For the romans,the gods were more like soldiers ready por war. For the greeks they weren't. That's why I don't like the myths to mix.

PS. Sorry about the grammar, english isn't my first language
33 reviews
August 14, 2010
So far, this is my favorite of Greek mythology children's books. I liked the illustrations and the stories were told with more fluid story language rather than just choppy retelling. The one thing I didn't like was the use of the Roman names. I think it is because these stories are from later in history so it makes sense but it just makes it hard for me to keep things straight :)
Profile Image for ☀️Alexander☀️.
63 reviews1 follower
April 29, 2022
Estuvo bien, una compilación de mitos griegos relativamente comúnes, pero, los único que no me gustó fue el libro lit se llama "Mitos GRIEGOS" y los personajes tenían su nombre ROMANO, si le sé a los nombres romanos de los dioses, pero, para eso, le cambiaban el título, está corto y te lo lees en nada.
Profile Image for Isabel Jazmín.
1,125 reviews31 followers
February 11, 2016
Me gustaron mucho estas versiones de los mitos griegos, me pareció que son claras y con un lenguaje sencillo. Creo que al dividir por capítulos y dedicar cada uno a un solo mito es mucho más fácil entenderlos y diferenciar a los personajes.
61 reviews
January 14, 2022
Libro básico pero donde el nombre del libro no corresponde al igual que el contenido ya que está basado en los relatos de Ovidio, debería llamarse Mitos Romanos pero en fin ...
Profile Image for Nadia | Lalibroadicta.
100 reviews6 followers
June 10, 2022
Hace unas semanas estuve revisando unos temas de mitología nórdica y no podía dejar de pensar en el pequeño libro de mitos griegos que leí en el colegio, sabía que lo tenía en algún lado y lo encontré!

Osborne hace una recopilación de doce mitos muy famosos como: La historia de Ceres y Proserpina, Orfeo y Eurídice, Cupido y Psique, Baucis y Filemón, entre otros. El texto es acompañado por ilustraciones y en los apéndices menciona algunas anotaciones sobre la elección de los nombres y terminología relacionada al tema. Hay que tener en cuenta que es un libro pensado en un público escolar, a partir de los 12 años aprox.

En esta nueva lectura percibí algunas cosas que no me gustaron. Lo que más me incomodaba es el hecho de que se utilicen los nombres romanos de los personajes en vez de los nombres griegos Si bien en la introducción la autora nos cuenta que los mitos griegos fueron adoptados por los romanos, ella se basa en la colección de mitos del romano Ovido y por ello utiliza esos nombres… entonces, ¿No sería mejor haber llamado al libro mitos romanos?

A esto se le suma la gran cantidad de mujeres que sufren en estos mitos. Si bien algunos hombres también terminan mal, las mujeres son castigadas por ser muy libres o muy bonitas o muy hábiles mientras que los hombres sufren por amor o codicia. Ojo, en este caso la autora no tiene la culpa del desarrollo de la historia…

De lo que sí tiene culpa es de la reinterpretación de algunos mitos. Si bien se entiende que para un público infantil se deben cambiar u omitir ciertos eventos, se podría haber logrado una narración un poco más interesante.

3/5🌟 Si quieres introducir a un niño en mitología griega elegiría otro libro que use los nombres correctos.
50 reviews2 followers
November 14, 2019
This book contains 15 different stories of various Greek gods and goddess. This book would fit well in a unit on different book genres, as an introduction to myths. The stories are short in length and also have illustrations, so this could be a good read-aloud book that can give students insight to what a myth is as well as what information can be revealed about ancient culture and believes. This is also a good introduction to a discussion about what morals and values are and what affects said morals and values. I like that this book provides students with an accurate telling of ancient Greek myths. Like I mentioned earlier, I also enjoy the length each individual story is because it allows for better use in the classroom.
Profile Image for Stuart.
454 reviews19 followers
May 19, 2020
Mary Pope Osborne's simply told collection of the major pastoral myths of the Greeks and Romans is a gentle introduction to Ovid in specific and the world of classical mythology in general. Focused on the less violent stories, children may still need some help understanding the bittersweetness of physical transformation as an allegory for change, as otherwise many of the stories may seem to lack logical, coherent endings since Osborne has stripped them of their more discursive elements. Still, beautiful, colorful pictures by Troy Howell, whose illustrations have echoes of the Great Masters and the Sistine Chapel, ensure this is a good addition to a young person's collection, and will be both soothing of nightmares and inspiring of dreams.
Profile Image for Meg.
44 reviews
June 25, 2022
It was a great way to introduce you to some of the most famous myths. Despite using the Roman God names, at least in the back, you will able to look up what their Greek God name is. Coming in, I had heard of some of the myths before----such as King Midas, the chariot driving to the Sun, Narcissus and Echo---I have heard of King Midas before, but had no idea it was Greek Mythology.

There were a couple of the stories I hadn't heard of or was a little familiar with. I specifically wanted to read this book due to having the Orpheus and Eurydice myth (after all, fascinated by Hadestown), and the Kidnapping (explaining how Persephone became Queen of the Underworld)- both are connected to the same musical.
March 1, 2020
Necesitaba un libro de mitos griegos para jóvenes y este va a la perfección. Si bien cuenta con ilustraciones, no hace abuso de ellas, por lo cual mis alumnos podrán también dejar volar su imaginación al crear en su mente los espacios y personajes.
Los mitos son muy claros y me gustó la selección que hicieron. Además, cuenta con una pequeña introducción y, hacia el final, aparece un listado de personajes importantes y una breve explicación acerca de quién es el "autor" de estos relatos.
Le bajé una estrella porque si lo titulan "Mitos griegos" me parece muy mal que utilicen las demominaciones latinas de los personajes.
Profile Image for Valen.
2 reviews1 follower
January 23, 2022
Tiene historias cortitas, resumidas y son super fáciles de leer; Aunque no me molesta el que tenga los nombres Romanos, si es verdad que sería mejor si estuvieran con los nombres Griegos, pero dentro de todo es una linda colección para tener, cuando los vas leyendo te das cuenta porque te lo daban en la primaria, y es que como un libro para regalarle a alguien de esa edad me parece que está bueno. Personalmente me entretuvo y lo disfruté.
Profile Image for Kirsten Simkiss.
833 reviews3 followers
October 6, 2017
This book is lovely and the stories are great. The illustrations are beautiful. My only complaint, which others have noted, is that this book is called Favorite Greek Myths, yet uses all the Roman names for the Gods and characters. That’s a pretty noticeable oops, to be honest. How did the editors not catch that?

I give it 4 stars. It would have been 5 if not for the Greek/Roman mix up.
Profile Image for Michaela.
50 reviews
December 30, 2020
As other reviewers said, I strongly disliked that the author used the Roman names for the gods and goddesses in the story, as it was confusing and I kept having to go back and compare who is who. That being said, I liked seeing how the rather ~saucy~ myths were spun to be appropriate for kids. However, I would choose a different book when introducing my future kids to Greek mythology just to eliminate the confusion of their names.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 114 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.