Theseus and The Minotaur, by Sonia Elisabetta Corvaglia and illustrated by Anna Lang is part of the Little Library of Greek Myths published by Starry Forest Books and will be available for purchase on 21 September 2021.
This is the third book in this series that I have read to my son Dante for a bedtime story and there is one more left to go. Like the other two, the artwork is excellent for this age range; colorful, fun, and straightforward, and the pictures clearly depict what is going on in the story.
Like Hercules, the story length was perfect for a bedtime story–right in between “I feel cheated if we don’t read another story” and “I’m bored.”
Also like Hercules, this children’s adaptation stuck pretty closely to the original Greek myth about Theseus and the Minotaur, and tamed it down by having Theseus capture the Minotaur and tie it up so it couldn’t hurt anyone else versus slaying it outright. I think this was a good move for a children’s version.
My son seemed to enjoy this book. There were significantly fewer interruptions from him as I read than when I read Zeus. However, I don’t think this story provided much that he could relate to as a child, and he seemed more interested in swiping his finger across my phone screen to turn the page than listening to the story. Although, he did ask a few questions about things that were happening in the story so I know he was paying attention, which is success in my opinion.
Despite that, when I asked him if he wanted to read it again, he said no. However, last night he wanted to read another story “like the one we read yesterday” so I’m chalking his comment about not wanting to read it again largely up to the fact that reading it on my phone doesn’t allow a child to see the whole picture, literally only one half of it, which definitely detracts from storytelling experience. I honestly think having a physical copy would have made the difference for Dante.
I would recommend this book for your children’s library. The story of Theseus is a classic and Sonia Elisabetta did a great job making this one kid friendly, and Anna Lang’s art was really great. I want to especially applaud Anna Lang for not only making the artwork kid friendly in appearance, but also selecting a color scheme that imitates the ancient murals and paintings from ancient Greece, it really imbues this collection with a classical essence.