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YOUNG ZEUS by G. Brian Karas


by G. Brian Karas and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-439-72806-5
Publisher: Scholastic

Adding a few details of his own (“ ‘I’m Zeus, your brother,’ said the victorious young god. ‘Let’s play!’ ”) to ancient sources, Karas tracks the mighty lad as he grows up in hiding, forces his father Cronus to vomit up his older brother-and-sister gods, then frees his aunts and uncles the Cyclopes and Hundred-Handers to battle their own sibs, the Titans, for supremacy. Using pencil and gouache on heavily textured paper, the author/illustrator creates hazy scenes of the lightly draped gods and their diminutive rescuer quarreling amongst themselves, oblivious to the huge, brutish monsters closing in. Both playful scale and amusing details will ensure illustrations get second and even third looks. Carrying a sheaf of oversized lightning bolts, Zeus prevails against both the Titans and his immediate clan, ushering in an age of “fun and order on Mount Olympus.” Underplaying the old tale’s violence (and leaving the gods’ sexual “fun” out altogether) without losing its general drift, the author crafts a robust but light alternative to the plethora of more conventional renditions available. (dramatis personae, author’s note) (Picture book/mythology. 7-9)