Friday, 24 January 2014

D'Aulaires' Book Of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire

I got this for one of my middle boys the Christmas before last. Having just come across the D'Aulaires books, I was blown away by how lovely they were and convinced myself that only a bad parent could resist buying this one. Even as I wrapped it I felt there was a good chance it might not wow him and labeled it From Mum and Dad lest it be considered not Santa worthy. But no, my nine year old was very happy with it. To be fair, he has always been into monsters and stories of the mythical variety, but it was an unexpected pleasure to see him poring over this day after day. It made up for the many times I despaired at the sight of him glued  to my laptop watching multiple episodes of Fairly Odd Parents and similar crap on YouTube.
I got his brother the audio version and can safely say all my kids must, if even just by osmosis, know the book off by heart. Read by Matthew Broderick, Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman and Kathleen Turner it has been the soundtrack of their bedroom for the past year. And, to make things even better, my friend Michelle of My Book Affair pointed out that a detailed knowledge of the classics will help throughout secondary school, particularly in Leaving Certificate English. I don't have a teenager yet but have a pretty good feeling that getting this knowledge in before then then is a good idea.

Published in 1962, I've heard this book called the gold standard of Greek Myths. And its a stunningly beautiful book.  On the days I have served weetabix for dinner and know tomorrows lunch bags will be bulked out with fig rolls, I comfort myself that if this book has been looked at, at least their little artistic souls are well fed.

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