Holub and Patricelli are back with another Mini Myth; here, a dark-skinned, bespectacled tot named Athena shows off her preternaturally advanced fine-motor skills by tying a plethora of bows.
When a white toddler with a spider T-shirt and flapping laces on her shoes sees Athena tying her shoes, Athena helps out. The child then shows off the big pink bows to the others in what seems to be their day care or preschool but must confess that it was Athena who tied them. “I can teach you,” says helpful Athena, and she does. Patricelli depicts a racially diverse group of appealing kids who mostly look as though they dressed themselves. The story is evidently inspired by Athena’s role in introducing weaving to mortals, as evidenced by a closing note that summarizes the fate of Arachne. Companion title Don’t Get Lost, Odysseus! tells the story of a dark-skinned boy with a thatch of black hair who gets lost in a nautically themed playspace while shopping with his mother; a smiling cyclops is a significant feature. This book too closes with a summary of the title character’s original story. Like the others in the series, both books take their source material as inspiration for their themes rather than attempting to actually retell the classic tales for an audience too young to sit still for them.
In centering a child of color as a source of wisdom, the book makes a positive statement for young readers. (Board book. 1-3)