Title: Greek Myths and Mazes
Author: Jan Bajtlik
Illustrator: Jan Bajtlik
Translator: Zosia Krasodomska-Jones
Publisher: Walker Studio
Genre: Children’s non-fiction, Activity, History, Mythology
Book format: Hardback
Description: Find your way through the labyrinth of Greek mythology! Pick a path through the twists and turns of winding tracks, among gods, heroes, fantastic creatures and extraordinary events. Meet Heracles and The Argonauts, the Minotaur and the Cyclopes, Sisyphus, Odysseus and beautiful Helen. Visit the Olympic Games, a Greek theatre and the athenean Acropolis. Lose yourself in this book to find yourself in the Greece of thousands of years ago.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This is such a fun book, I’ve learned so much and it’s just been so, so fun! ‘Greek Myths and Mazes’ is a hardback book with a good weight to it as it’s A3 in size! The book is filled with thick matt pages of different illustrations of fun mazes and some text, with more detailed text at the back of the book in a sort of glossary. The whole book is based on the Ancient Greeks, the myths and stories of their gods, as well as real life information on ancient Greek life.
There is an introduction page explaining how to use the book and then every double page is filled with a very colourful, and in most cases, a very detailed and fun looking maze to try to get through. Each maze illustration has lots of little things images dotted around the pages of people of creatures, and brief pieces of information here and there near the pictures, explaining what is happening or who the people are. I love how detailed these mazes can get and how fun it is to follow the path and try to get to the other side of the page. The details in the mazes can just be looked at randomly, but if you follow the correct path then certain mazes will reveal a story to you, for example, in the mazes that tell the story of the Trojan war or Odysseus’ journey, the story of each of these is mostly explained in the order it happens in the original tale/myth (as long as you follow the correct route through the maze).
Each maze looks very different from another with some more detailed than others. I do like the more detailed ones with lots of things happening and lots of people on the page, it reminds me of a Where’s Wally book, as you can spend ages just looking at each little thing that’s happening on the page. There are lots of fun little images, not all of them are that important but it’s still a fun extra, and I like all the people going about their daily lives in the maze about Greek houses. Some of the less detailed mazes are fun too though and each of them still has lots of fun twists and turns that can lead you to a deadend.
Each maze has more information about what is happening at the back of the book. So to use the book you should look at the maze and then turn to the back of the book (the corresponding page number is given) for more details on what is happening. I’ve found myself first looking at a maze, then reading about it at the back before turning back to the maze to look at it again, but with more understanding the second time. It’s been a very fun experience using and looking at this book of mazes and having had some similar style activity learning books when I was growing up, I know I would have loved this as a child and I’m sure many children today will love looking at this too.
The illustration style is just perfect. I love how detailed all the images get and how funny they are too. Not only do you learn a lot of facts from this book but you can’t help but laugh at some of the pictures. There’s something about the style that is just so humorous, the expressions on the characters faces (I especially love the way Sisyphus looks trying to get that boulder up the hill – the expression and positions he puts himself in is brilliant and there’s a whole maze around a lot of different and very funny illustrations of him). I love the way all the people look when drawn and how many little extra funny things can be spotted on most pages.
The information at the back of the book is easy to read and isn’t too long but does give details about what is happening in the mazes or more details about the mythology and history of ancient Greece. I’ve learned a lot from just reading these sections and you can read it all seperately if you want to as well as referring back to the corresponding maze of each section (page numbers are provided). What I also like about this glossary section of the book is how certain words or phrases used today are mentioned, what they mean today and where they come from in Ancient Greek myths and history, and there is also a family tree of all the Greek Gods as well as an explanation of how the world supposedly started (according to the Ancient Greeks) which I found fascinating and it really does help you understand it all better!
Overall this is such a fun book and I think plenty of children and even teens and adults will enjoy reading this. It’s perfect for anyone already interested in history or mythology (especially of Ancient Greece) as well as for anyone who just likes the challenges of fun mazes and some funny and detailed illustrations. It might even get you interested in Greek myths and history too and it’s certainly compelled me to want to know a lot more!
Do you like the look of this book? Do you like learning about ancient history or mythology? What do you know or like about the Ancient Greeks? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂