Tag Archives: Anthony Lewis

Greek Beasts and Heroes

I like hanging out with intelligent people. Like Lucy Coats, for instance. Thank Zeus & Co for educated writers who will make things available to me in a form I can digest.

Europa och tjuren, Halmstad, by Tina Håkansson

(Photo by Tina Håkansson)

Now, take Europa and the Bull. I should know their story intimately, back-to-front and always. But I don’t/didn’t. I’m sure I have heard the tale, but managed to forget it, which is strange seeing as every child who grew up in my hometown knows Europa and the Bull. The very magnificent statue of them stands in the town’s main square and we can probably all tell you the name of the sculptor. (Carl Milles) But I can’t be alone in not knowing the story. Can I?

So, I’m very grateful to Lucy, and now I’ll endeavour to remember.

Lucy’s first four books about the Greek Beasts and Heroes are fun. Lots of the stories are well known – even to me – but are well worth retelling again. The format is based on Atticus the Storyteller who travels around and tells people stories to keep them happy or calm, or to pass the time, or in return for food or a bed for the night.

The stories are beautifully short, which means they should work well to read to a young child, or have the child read themselves, with room for a second story if required. I’m sure I remember reading some of these tales in a much longer version, and I can’t praise Lucy enough for shrinking them down to what matters. Though Zeus could do with not being quite such a ladies’ man.

Keep them coming! (I think she will, as there are another eight to go.)

Illustrations by Anthony Lewis.