Jason and the Argonauts: The First Great Quest in Greek Mythology – written and illustrated by Robert Byrd

 Jason and the Argonauts: The First Great Quest in Greek Mythology – written and illustrated by Robert Byrd, Dial Books for Young Readers, (9780803741188), 2016.

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5:  (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Greek Mythology

What did you like about the book? This is a beautifully illustrated version of the famous Greek myth of the Argonauts and their epic quest to help Jason retrieve the Golden Fleece. Each two page spread contains a specific episode of Jason’s story, a large attractive illustration, and a sidebar with further information about an element of that portion of the story or one of the gods or goddesses. Introducing the gods and goddesses one at a time in this way helps distinguish them from each other. A map on the end pages displays the course of the trek and further clarifies events. An author’s note reveals the author’s fondness for the tale, informs readers about varying retellings, and describes how he chose which incidents to include.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  The way it is written in episodes made it too easy to stop in the middle. I confess to stopping several times and ended up taking several months to finish what should have been a quick read. (This could actually work well if it was being read aloud a little at a time in a classroom setting.)

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend to young people from second to fourth grade who would enjoy hearing about one of the earliest and most famous adventures ever undertaken.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school libraries and public libraries.

Where would you shelve it?  Shelve with folk and fairy tales in 398.2.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Not necessary

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA

Date of review:  4/3/17

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