Mini Myths: Play Nice, HERCULES! and Be Patient, PANDORA! by Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli

Mythology for toddlers? No matter what your opinion on this subject, Joan Holub, prolific children's book author and creator of the Goddess Girls series of chapter books, the sixteenth book of which will be published soon and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli, creator of a hilarious, very fun series of board books (see below) are the perfect pair to have a go at this concept. Mini Myths, a new series, is a "mythology-inspired modern-day parable for the young and young at heart" that is just plain fun to read. No matter what the take-away lesson on mythology is or how well it's understood, I guarantee you that little listeners will love these books. A paragraph at the end of each book gives a brief but thorough explains the original myth.

In Be Patient, Pandora! we see Pandora, a box and her mother, who tells her not to open the box.

Pandora ponders the box. Pandora prods the box, saying, "I am not opening the box. I am only touching it." She leans on it, sits on it and eventually bounces on it, but only a "teensy bit." When the box burst open and the surprising contents explode from the inside, Pandora is immediately sorry, asking, "Do you still love me? I hope so," with the word "hope" highlighted in pink, a nice nod to the original myth. Patricelli's expressively playful, thickly lined drawings capture the expressions of little kids perfectly, as do the bright, primary colors she uses in her illustrations.

In Play Nice, Hercules! a big brother terrorizes his little sister, even though Dad tells him to play nice.

Being Hercules, he just can't contain himself, showing readers how he can "wham-bam monsters," and "whomp-stomp bad guys" which, inevitably leads to ka-booming his little sister's castle. When she cries, he realizes what he has done and rebuilds it for her better than before. In a nice twist, Play Nice, Hercules! ends with his little sister happily smashing the castle Hercules built for her.

Coming next Spring, Brush Your Hair, Medusa!

For slightly older readers, don't miss Rosemary Wells adaptation of favorite myths using her wonderful Max & Ruby characters.

Source: Review Copy

Don't miss Leslie Patricelli's 
other brilliant board books!

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