The Best Greek Mythology Books For Kids

Tom Curley

The best Greek mythology books for kids

Welcome to our comprehensive guide featuring the best Greek mythology books for kids! Greek mythology is a treasure trove of adventure, heroism, and timeless tales that have fascinated readers for centuries.

Our selection spans a variety of engaging and educational books, each suited for specific age groups, ensuring that you find the perfect mythological journey for your young reader.

Whether your child is just beginning to explore the enchanting world of Greek myths or is already a budding enthusiast, our list has something for everyone. We’ve even gone the extra mile to highlight our top pick right at the start of the article, making your selection process easier.

This article is one in a series on the best Greek mythology books.

The best greek mythology book for kids – D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, Edgar Parin d’Aulaire and Ingri Parin d’Aulaire

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, Edgar Parin d'Aulaire and Ingri Parin d'Aulaire book cover

“D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths” is an essential classic in children’s literature and our top choice. It’s an excellent choice for readers of all ages, but particularly for those aged 8-12. This book, created by the celebrated Caldecott-winning duo Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, offers a captivating and comprehensive collection of Greek myths.

The book excels in making complex mythological tales accessible and engaging for younger readers. The tone is relaxed and humorous, effectively demystifying the often complex world of Greek mythology.

This approach ensures that the legendary figures of ancient Greece, from mighty Zeus to wise Athena, are not just characters of distant stories but become familiar and relatable to the young reader.

The illustrations in the book are particularly noteworthy. The full-page drawings are aesthetically pleasing and rich in detail and imagination, making the stories come alive visually.

Critically acclaimed by various publications like The Horn Book, The New York Times, and the Christian Science Monitor, “D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths” has been recognized for its reading-aloud value for younger children and its appeal as a self-reading book for older ones. This versatility makes it a timeless resource for families and educators and a must-have in the library of any young reader interested in mythology, history, or captivating stories.

I Am Pan!, Mordicai Gerstein

I Am Pan!, Mordicai Gerstein book cover

“I Am Pan!” by Mordicai Gerstein is an engaging and vibrant picture book that brings to life the adventures of Pan, the Greek god of noise and confusion. Ideal for children aged 6-9, this book stands out for its lively storytelling and humorous tone. Each story within the book is short, making it perfect for reading in multiple sessions, especially for younger readers who might find longer narratives challenging.

Gerstein’s vivid illustrations and playful narrative style make Greek mythology accessible and entertaining. The book delves into the mischievous antics of Pan, from stealing Artemis’ arrows to causing chaos on Mount Olympus, all depicted with a sense of fun and whimsy. This approach not only captures the imagination of young readers but also introduces them to classical mythology in a way that’s both educational and enjoyable.

Echo Echo, Marilyn Singer

Echo Echo, Marilyn Singer book cover

“Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths” by Marilyn Singer offers a unique and creative approach to exploring Greek mythology, making it an excellent choice for children aged 9-12, especially those with an interest in poetry and different storytelling techniques.

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This book stands out for its use of “reverso poems,” where each poem presents a traditional Greek myth from top to bottom and then reveals a new perspective in reverse.

The book covers familiar myths like Pandora’s Box, King Midas and his golden touch, and the story of Perseus and Medusa, among others. The dual nature of these poems encourages readers to think critically about the stories and perspectives they are familiar with, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the myths.

Accompanied by beautiful illustrations that complement the poems, “Echo Echo” serves as a captivating introduction to Greek mythology and a tool for teaching different literary styles and viewpoints.

Its innovative format makes it a valuable resource for educators, particularly for those teaching upper elementary grades, as it can be used to enhance lessons on Greek mythology and introduce discussions on various perspectives in storytelling.

The One-Eyed People Eater, Joan Holub

The One-Eyed People Eater, Joan Holub book cover

“The One-Eyed People Eater” by Joan Holub, part of the Ready-to-Read series, is a fantastic introduction to Greek mythology for young readers, especially those aged 6-8. This book retells the thrilling story of Odysseus and the Cyclops, making it accessible and enjoyable for children.

Holub’s storytelling, known for its kid-friendly approach, does an excellent job of simplifying this classic myth without losing its essence. The adventure of Odysseus and his men, shipwrecked and facing the one-eyed giant Cyclops, is depicted in an exciting yet not too intimidating way for young readers.

Dani Jones’ illustrations add a vivid and captivating element to the story, engaging children visually and helping to bring the tale to life. The expressive artwork complements the text, making the book appealing even to children who may not yet be reading independently.

This book is particularly suitable for read-aloud sessions, as the expressive writing style can captivate the imagination of younger children. It serves as a wonderful way for parents or educators to introduce the rich world of Greek mythology to kids, fostering an early interest in classic stories and literature.

Weird But True! Greek Mythology, Sarah Wassner Flynn

Weird But True! Greek Mythology, Sarah Wassner Flynn book cover

“Weird But True Know-It-All: Greek Mythology” is an exceptional resource for children aged 10-13 who are fascinated by Greek mythology’s rich and intricate world. This book, part of the Weird But True series, delves into the classic tales of gods, goddesses, heroes, and monsters from ancient Greece, making it a treasure trove of mythological knowledge.

The book stands out for its blend of well-known myths with lesser-known, ‘weird-but-true’ facts. It covers a wide array of characters, from Zeus and Hera to heroes like Hercules and Achilles, and even explores the realms of quests, muses, and famous philosophers.

The full-color illustrations are not only visually appealing but also help in bringing these ancient stories to life. The book also links mythological tales to present-day words and usages, providing a contemporary context that enhances understanding and retention.

For children who are curious about mythology or those who have just started exploring this fascinating subject, “Weird But True Know-It-All: Greek Mythology” is a perfect choice.

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Athena the Brain, Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Athena the Brain, Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams book cover

“Athena the Brain,” part of the Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams, is an excellent introduction to Greek mythology for young readers, particularly those aged 7-10. This book is a fantastic starting point for kids who show interest in the Percy Jackson series but might not be ready for its more advanced content.

The story centers around Athena, a girl who discovers she’s actually a goddess and the daughter of Zeus. She’s summoned to Mount Olympus Academy, a place where she finally feels like she fits in. The narrative cleverly intertwines elements of Greek mythology with relatable school experiences. Readers follow Athena as she navigates this new world, meeting other goddesses like Aphrodite, Artemis, and Persephone and dealing with Medusa, the mean girl of the story.

While it doesn’t adhere strictly to the accuracy of Greek myths, it uses mythology as a backdrop to explore themes such as friendship and self-discovery. The imaginative setting of Mount Olympus Academy, complete with classes on controlling Greek heroes, adds an engaging twist to the typical school story.

Encyclopedia Mythologica – Gods & Heroes, Matthew Reinhart & Robert Sabuda

Gods & Heroes, Matthew Reinhart & Robert Sabuda book cover

“Encyclopedia Mythologica – Gods & Heroes” by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda is a visually stunning and informative journey through various mythologies of the world, suitable for children aged 8 and up. This book stands out for its innovative combination of concise, educational text and elaborate pop-up art, bringing a unique and engaging dimension to the exploration of myths.

The book covers a wide range of mythologies, from Ancient Egypt’s Ra-Atum to the Norse god Odin, the Greek gods of Mount Olympus, and beyond. This breadth of coverage provides young readers with a comprehensive view of mythologies from different cultures, enhancing their understanding of the world’s rich and diverse mythological heritage.

The book’s pop-up elements, with their intricate and vividly colored three-dimensional figures and scenes, captivate the imagination and offer a tactile, interactive experience. Hidden scenes and objects within the pop-ups add an element of discovery and surprise, making the process of learning about mythology adventurous and enjoyable.

Greek Myths, Ann Turnbull

Greek Myths, Ann Turnbull book cover

“Greek Myths” by Ann Turnbull is a beautifully crafted collection that brings the legendary world of ancient Greece to life for readers of all ages. This book is particularly appealing for children aged 9-12, offering a gateway into a realm where the extraordinary is commonplace, where gods can transform into mountains or showers of gold, and nymphs echo in the wind.

Turnbull masterfully retells sixteen celebrated myths with compelling prose that captures their beauty and tragedy. The stories range from the sorrowful tale of Persephone to the tragic love of Orpheus and Eurydice, alongside other renowned narratives like Pandora’s curiosity and King Midas’s greed. Each story is infused with drama and romance, making them captivating for young readers.

Complementing these tales are the striking illustrations by Sarah Young. Her artwork, rich in expressive detail, brings a distinctive and vivid visual dimension to the myths. From the formidable Cerberus, the three-headed dog, to the menacing Medusa with her snake hair, Young’s illustrations enhance the experience of these timeless stories.

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The Lightning Thief – Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief - Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Rick Riordan book cover

“The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan is the first book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series and is a thrilling adventure that brilliantly blends modern-day life with ancient Greek mythology. Ideal for readers aged 10-14, this novel introduces Percy Jackson, a 12-year-old boy who discovers he’s a demigod, the son of Poseidon.

Percy’s adventure begins when he is accused of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt, the most powerful weapon in the universe. The book takes readers on a captivating journey as Percy sets out to find the real thief and resolve a conflict among the gods. Along the way, he encounters various mythological creatures and figures and learns about his true identity and powers.

Riordan’s writing style is notable for its humor and fast pace, making it extremely engaging for young readers. The book also deals with themes like friendship, courage, and identity, resonating with the experiences of its adolescent audience.

“The Lightning Thief” brilliantly demonstrates how Greek mythology and fantasy blend seamlessly to create captivating stories. This novel serves as a prime example of how ancient myths can be reimagined in a contemporary fantasy setting, appealing to modern readers.

Its success in making Greek mythology accessible and thrilling has led to a surge in interest among children and young adults in similar stories. We’ve specially curated a list of Greek mythology-inspired fantasy books where the enchantment of myth meets the allure of fantasy in exhilarating narratives.

Gift From the Gods, Lise Lunge-Larsen

Gift From the Gods, Lise Lunge-Larsen book cover

“Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words and Wisdom from Greek Mythology” by Lise Lunge-Larsen is a remarkable book that delves into the fascinating origins of common words and phrases derived from Greek mythology. This book is particularly suited for children aged 9-12 who have an interest in both language and mythology.

Lunge-Larsen’s book is more than just a collection of myths; it’s a journey through language, revealing how many words we use daily have roots in ancient Greek stories. The book explores various words like “chaos,” “genius,” “nemesis,” and “panic,” connecting them to the mythological tales and characters they originated from. For example, it explains how museums were once temples to the muses and goddesses of the arts and how the word “Janus” influenced the term “janitors.”

Each story in the book is concise yet rich in detail, providing a deep understanding of the wisdom contained in these ancient myths. The illustrations accompanying these stories are lavish and add a visual depth to the text, making it more engaging for young readers.

“Gifts from the Gods” is an excellent resource for children who are curious about the origins of words or those who enjoy Greek mythology. It provides a unique perspective on how ancient stories continue to influence our language and culture.

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Tom Curley
I'm Tom Curley, owner and operator of History Hogs, where my passion for ancient history drives everything we do. From Rome to Byzantium, I dive deep into the stories and details that shaped our past.
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