Monday, June 4, 2018

Greek Myths, Illustrated: D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths

Mater Amabilis™Level 1A recommends Classic Myths to Read Aloud in Level 1A (second and third grade) and we loved it. But after reading it aloud for the first two children, I was ready for a change. So Second Daughter and I read Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire instead.

We had already listened to the audiobook from our library, which is wonderful and a book even Kansas Dad enjoyed hearing. The book we also had on the shelves, a gift from dear friends of ours many years ago.

In the first year, second grade, I read the stories aloud to Second Daughter. In the second year, third grade, I started out reading them aloud, but she asked if she could read them independently and then narrate them. The disadvantage of independent reading is that many of the names are difficult to pronounce and even more difficult to remember. So I would usually try to model the name for her during her narration if not before her reading. (I also learned from the audiobook that there are multiple acceptable pronunciations for many of the names.)

These stories are exciting and entertaining. They are wonderfully illustrated, of course, in the d'Aulaire style you might recognize from one of their many books. Many incidents in the Greek myths are not appropriate for young ears, but the d'Aulaires manage to phrase them in a general and circumspect manner that makes them acceptable for all ages.

For those that are interested, I'll post our schedule. It's easy to spread the stories over the two years leaving plenty of extra time for breaks during Advent or for important things like trips to the zoo.

Year One (second grade), reading once a week:

  • In Olden Times and Gaea pp 9-11
  • The Titans pp 12-15
  • Zeus and His Family pp 16-23
  • Hera pp 24-27
  • Hephaestus pp 28-29
  • Aphrodite pp 30-31
  • Ares pp 32-33
  • Athena pp 34-37
  • Poseidon pp 38-39
  • Poseidon cont pp 40-43
  • Apollo pp 42-43
  • Artemis pp 44-49
  • Hermes pp 50-55
  • Hades pp 56-57
  • Persephone and Demeter pp 58-63
  • Dionysus pp 64-69
  • Minor Gods and Prometheus pp 70-73
  • Pandora pp 74-75
  • Deucalion pp 76-79
  • Eos pp 80-81
  • Helios and Phaethon pp 82-85
Year Two (third grade), reading once a week:
  • Selene pp 86-89
  • Pan pp 90-91
  • Echo pp 92-93
  • Syrinx pp 94-95
  • The Wild and Vulgar Centaurs and Asclepius pp 96-99
  • The Nine Muses pp 100-101
  • Orpheus pp 102-107
  • Europa and Cadmus pp 108-111
  • Tantalus and Pelops pp 112-113
  • Danaus, Perseus, and the Gorgon pp 114-122
  • King Midas pp 123-125
  • Sisyphus pp 126-127
  • Bellerophon pp 128-129
  • Melampus pp 130-131
  • Heracles pp 132-139 (stop before 11th labor)
  • Heracles pp 139-147
  • Theseus pp 148-157
  • Oedipus pp 158-161
  • The Golden Fleece pp 162-166 (stop before "The Black Sea was a dangerous…"
  • The Golden Fleece pp 166-175
  • The Calydonian Boar Hunt p 176-177
  • The Apples of Love and the Apple of Discord p 178-184
  • To the End p 186-189
I have never really done exams with the kids, but inspired by Know and Tell, which I had recently read, I asked Second Daughter to tell me her favorite Greek myth at the end of this book and she beautifully narrated more than one of them. It was one of those moments when you think perhaps this homeschooling thing will work out alright after all.

I wouldn't say this book of Greek myths is better than Classic Myths to Read Aloud, but if you happen to have it on your shelves it can make an excellent substitute.

I received nothing for writing this post which contains only my honest opinions. I purchased a used copy of Classic Myths to Read Aloud and we received the d'Aulaire book as a gift. Links to Amazon are affiliate links.

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