Another campy take on ancient mythology from the author of Greece! Rome! Monsters!
(2002), illustrated by Calef Brown. Here, "the most famous of all heroes" (do you doubt?) tackles the Nemean Lion (carrying away its skin as "a kind of gross souvenir"), the Hind of Keryneia, the Erymanthian Boar ("a very big pig with absolutely no manners") and nine other "labors—tasks, jobs, what have you," in expiation for being tricked into killing his family by "Hera, Queen of Olympos, who never, ever gave Herakles a break." Baseman matches Harris's breezy tone with big, cartoony scenes featuring a pink-skinned, mightily thewed he-man with a pompadour and severe five o'clock shadow taking on a series of challenges—some of which, the author points out, required as much brain as brawn—with aplomb. Offered with a map and "How's that again?" pronunciation guides, this fresh, funny rendition definitely blows the dust off the old tales, while staying surprisingly close to traditional versions. (Picture book/folktale. 7-11)Read full book review >