Reviews of two books in the Mini Myths Series: Be Patient, PANDORA! and Play Nice, HERCULES!
Written by Joan Holub
Illustrated by Leslie Patricelli
Be Patient, PANDORA!
At first glance, you might say how could a toddler possibly understand the connections between Greek mythology and a toddler’s learning curve, but you are mistaken. Holub has deftly taken the story of Pandora’s box and woven it into a wonderful twenty-four page toddler board book. Each page contains a picture, one word or one sentence to portray a tot named Pandora, who simply cannot contain her curiosity when her mother tells her not to open the box. She cannot resist and then fears rejection and loss of her mother’s love when her curiosity gets the best of her. Patricelli knows exactly how to convey the story in pictures that are so simple yet expressive with the generalization needed for young children to understand the plot.
Play Nice, HERCULES!
This book has more text than the first, but does not go beyond one sentence on a page. Hercules is a toddler who has a habit of getting into mischief. Patricelli says it all in the wonderful facial expressions in her character. Dad warns him to play nice with his little sister who is sitting on the floor with her blocks. You can guess what happens when Hercules decides to display his strength. I especially enjoyed the way Holub used sound words like whomp-stomp and ka-boom to combine pictures and actions of the story. Mighty Hercules will have to learn how to contain his powers, and the siblings will learn a valuable lesson in the process.
Both sturdy board books contain summaries of the Greek myths upon which they are based on the back cover of the book. This is particularly useful for adult readers who may have forgotten the story and also allows the young child to “grow into” an interest for classical Greek literature at a later point in time. Parents and teachers may use the series as an early introduction to fine literature as well as a way to teach the skills and values that toddlers are beginning to develop. If you enjoyed reading these reviews, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed number in the upper right hand corner of this page.