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A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  881 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Six legends of Greek mythology, retold for children by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Included are The Gorgon’s Head, The Golden Touch, The Paradise of Children, The Three Golden Apples, The Miraculous Pitcher, and The Chimaera. In 1838, Hawthorne suggested to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that they collaborate on a story for children based on the legend of the Pandora’s Box, but this ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published September 27th 1994 by Everyman's Library (first published 1851)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  881 ratings  ·  104 reviews


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Luca
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorites from the Barnes & Noble Children's Classics so far. It is lovely to read these tales that feel somewhat familiar from my youth, and I also liked the setting where these tales were told to a group of children by 'Cousin Eustace'. I enjoyed all of the tales, but Bellerophon and Pegasus was my favorite.
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
Mariangel
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: daniel
Daniel's Review: This book has six stories about Greek myths: The adventures of Perseus, the golden touch, the paradise of the children, Hercules and the golden apples, the story of Baucis and Philemon, and the Chimaera. I liked all of them. I liked Perseus the most, and the book is awesome.
Maninee
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-mythology
14 year old me was a git and I cannot believe I was smug enough to add "unlike my peers" in a review. I'm surprised no one punched me in the face.

*Review of 30 Sep, 2011*

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
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Skedatt
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. My kids (4 - 9yrs) loved it--they kept begging me to read it for longer. It makes an excellent read-aloud for all ages of children, since the stories are short enough (there are six in the book that take about an hour to read) and reworked enough to be perfect for children. They are not Disneyfied (considering that Hawthorne predates Disney by a fair bit of time but you know what I mean), but the myths are enjoyably and appropriately told (as compared to dry and boring) with a nice ...more
Rebecca
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens_lit
I absolutely loved this. It is witty and clever and funny. Would love to read again. Loved the illustrations!
Diana Nelson
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun introduction to Greek Mythology
Honey & Anjali
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been fascinated by Greek mythology for a long time and have always wanted to get full exposure of the cultural and religious folk lores and tales but didn't know where to start. Needless to say, receiving this book was pure delight as I've heard a lot about Nathaniel Hawthorne before.

This book is a perfect way to get in touch with the tales that are a huge part of the cultural aspect of Greece. Even though these are retelling, you don't necessarily have to know the original story to read
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Jacqueline
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was a bit hesitant in starting this book, given my rather mixed-feelings on the only other Hawthorne book I'd read (The Scarlet Letter) and the numerous retellings of Greek myths I've already consumed.

But, boy, am I glad I made the decision to read this delightful collection anyway!

Yes, I've heard the stories of Midas, Pandora, Pegasus, and others countless times. But until now, I'd never had the pleasure of hearing them told so well with such strikingly vivid imagery that makes the already
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Lmichelleb
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
For someone who forgets what little she was taught of Greek myths, this was a delightful reintroduction. I was completely ignorant of the stories of Perseus and the Gorgon's head, the miraculous pitcher, and Hercules' three golden apples. The rest were only vaguely familar. But I realize how much the themes of these old stories come up in more modern storytelling. I am convinced of the deep importance of reading these myths!

Hawthorne is a little too self-deprecating for me, and the introductions
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Veena Soujanya
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Greek Myths by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a collection of 6 famous stories based on the myths and legends of Greek. These stories are narrated by Eustance Bright to a group of children who are his cousins. Keeping the legendary stories short and sweet the author presents the tales of "The Gorgon's Head", the tale of Medusa; "The Golden Touch", the story of Midas touch; "The Three Golden Apples", the narrative of Hercules and Atlas; "The Miraculous Pitcher", the fable of the pitcher which is always ...more
Mayad Tarabey
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacklyn (ReadingBliss)
I read this to my son as our first literary introduction to greek myths and thought the framing of the narrator was endearing to the reader. I felt as if I were among the children being told the stories by the elder student upon the varying natural sceneries. Not having much experience outside of Disney's interpretation of greek myths, I thought this was a great beginning. The stories were vivid, but not too long and included several illustrations throughout. There were several tales ...more
Pretty Little Bibliophile
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys is basically a retelling of 6 popular Greek stories – The Gorgon’s Head, The Golden Touch, The Paradise of Children, The Three Golden Apples, The Miraculous Pitcher and The Chimaera. The stories are written in the story-within-a-story format and in this way, the author has involved a brilliant framing device. ‘Cousin Eustace’ a bright lad of 18, is telling these stories to his younger cousins, adding his own flavours to the curry, so to speak. Medusa and Midas ...more
Amber Martin
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've picked up many of the leather bound books from Barnes and Noble over the years and I have to say this was definitely worth the purchase. It has unfortunately found itself sitting on a shelf for the last few years until the cover once again made me pick it up. Hawthorne did a wonderful job writing this. The narrator is a college student named Eustace Bright who travels to the home of Tanglewood during breaks from school to be among his cousins. All of which are much younger than him. During ...more
Olga
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am definitely not the target audience for this book, due to my age and living over a century after the book was written. Rating it therefore is somewhat of a tricky task.
The book includes six stories re-imagined (sort of) from the Greek mythology. A third of them have a very basic moral of "wouldn't it be nice to gather all bad people together and then just get rid of them all at once" - a notion way overly simplistic for my liking, which is why I did not rate the book very high. It is not all
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Kerina
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a collection of some selected Greek Mythology basically it's retelling. I loved the way the author has portrayed the characters so well although we've heard abt them beforehand. I thought that I wouldn't know much about the plot and characters but the fact that the author puts everything clear before you is mind blowing. What I didn't like about this one is the way the book has been written. The writing style is a little all over the place. If this could have been to the point and ...more
Pari
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starting from the book's remarkable cover to the lovely characters within, this was a delightful read.
There were around 6 Greek Mythologies being retold by Nathaniel Hawthorne and I really liked reading the short story versions presented by him as well as the ongoing story of the little children. Especially, I need to praise the author for his fantastic narration and beautiful writing style.

Overall, a good collection of Children's Classic Literature that I would recommend readers to give it a
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Janet
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Nathaniel Hawthorne rewrote some of the most famous Greek myths, sanitizing and adapting them for American children. Somehow he manages to tell these stories without ever mentioning that a lot of the characters are gods. I kept thinking how much I should hate them, but I ended up enjoying them. Hawthorne's versions are well told, with a lot of humor tucked in. I especially liked the framing story of the college student who tells the stories, whom I suspect Hawthorne modeled after his younger ...more
Michelle
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Big hit with the children! Their favorite was Bellerophon and Pegasus. I read this aloud and skipped the Intro and After parts. The myths stand alone. It took us about three to four lessons (20 min lesson) to complete each myth.

* Would not recommend for bedtime. They enjoyed acting out the climatic scenes, so I put this at the end of the schedule. I would never have gotten them settled down if this were read early in the morning.
Amy
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Normally, I'm not Nathaniel Hawthorne's biggest fan but I really enjoyed his version of these Greek myths. The illustrations were really nice and the stories were short enough and to the point. The reason why I gave it 4 stars was because I personally thought that the fake before and after sections were unnecessary and I feel like kids can still get the point of the stories without those sections. ... Ok I admit that sometimes I skipped those parts altogether.
Kristi
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was randomly sitting out and obviously I was like "what is this weird jfic book with naked kids on the cover?" Followed by, "Hawthorne? Even weirder. Tell me more." It was actually really cute and had good, easy to digest, retellings of classic myths, without over simplifying. Hawthorne does a surprisingly(to me) good job of writing for children, that I think even today's chapter book age readers could easily handle.
Emelie Johansson
A very beautiful edition of the book, the illustrations inside are amazing and really added to the story and the feeling. I loved the rewriting of the old myths/stories. It was divided into shorter chapters where you get a story and where you get to know the imaginary author and his audience. I thought that it was a cute and nice thing that added to the feel of the story.
Cait
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked that these classical myths were retold with the framing device of Eustace telling them to the children.

I was familiar with most of the stories, like King Midas, but I liked these version. Would make a good story to share with children.

Aware of Nathaniel Hawthorne but not read anything by him before.
Julia
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Six of the popular Greek myths are retold in the setting of a university student telling the stories to his younger cousins. Delightful. Originally published in 1851, I listened to this as a free download from LibriVox.org. It was beautifully read.
Hailee Scheffer
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-log
My brother recommended this book to me because of the stories inside. I'm not big into Greek mythology but this was pretty interesting! There were stories that I had never heard of which was cool because I wasn't reading something I already knew about.
Ethan Campbell
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you struggled with The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables, etc., you're not alone -- but don't pass this one up! It's easy to read, entertaining, and actually educational, as you'll learn about several ancient myths. Hawthorne may have missed his true calling as a children's author ...
Vanessa
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely book of adventurous stories adapted from myths, expressed in the playfully mischievous voice of the talented older cousin persona Eustace Bright. I'm looking forward to rereading this book, this time aloud to the kids.
Braeden
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful art! Less interesting text.
Gabriella
This book was very helpful and informational, it added a fun twist to Greek mythology and the illustratrions were amazing.
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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
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“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.” 6 likes
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