By: G. Brian Karas
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: June 9, 2010
Rhea was very worried that Cronus, her evil husband, would eat Zeus just like he had done with the rest of her children. She asked Amaltheia, an "enchanted she-goat," if she would take care of him. In sunny Crete Zeus blissfully played on the mountainous land with many different animals as Amaltheia closely watched after him, but something was missing from Zeus's life. He wanted to play with some other gods and was very disappointed that there weren't any around. The she-goat sat him down and began to explain his heritage.
She told him about his grandparents, Gaia and Uranus, and all about their children. Amaltheia told him how proud his grandfather was of the Titans, but also about his shameful children, the Cyclopes and the Hundred-Handers, whom he banished to the underworld. His grandmother, Gaia, was wonderful, but Zeus's grandfather was an evil creature. Gaia enlisted her son Cronus's help to banish him "to the bottom of the sea." Asking Cronus to help was a big mistake because "he ate up all his babies" so they wouldn't overtake his rule. Later on Zeus decided he must rescue his brothers and sisters, but how could he launch an attack against someone so evil?
This book is a marvelous, simplified way for the young reader to learn about the mythical Zeus and how he became the God of Gods. The storybook format of this book makes it much easier to learn about mythology. The presentation shows Zeus as a young boy who, wondering about his heritage, sets out to reclaim it. Zeus and the cast of characters, who are listed with an accompanying diagram in the front along with a pronunciation key, are all very appealing, a quality that will encourage the reluctant reader to explore this book.
Quill says: If you are looking for a modern day mythological tale that will encourage the young reader to explore Greek mythology, this is one you may wish to add to your list!