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Nicolas Duffaut , Hélène Montardre

Little Stories from Mythology [Petites histoires de la mythologie] (Series)

YEAR: 2010

COUNTRY: France

Cateogry icon

Title of the work

Little Stories from Mythology [Petites histoires de la mythologie] (Series)

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

France

Original Language

French

First Edition Date

2010

First Edition Details

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Dans le ventre du cheval de Troie [In the Belly of the Trojan Horse]. Paris: Nathan, 2010.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Persée et la Gorgone [Perseus and the Gorgon]. Paris: Nathan, 2010.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Jason et la Toison d'or [Jason and the Golden Fleece]. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Le labyrinthe de Dédale [Daedalus’ Labyrinth]. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Ulysse et le Cyclope [Odysseus and the Cyclops]. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Les douze travaux d’Hercule [The Twelve Labours of Hercules]. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. L’enlèvement de Perséphone [The Abduction of Persephone]. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Prométhée, le voleur de feu [Prometheus, the Thief of Fire]. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Pégase, l’indomptable [Pegasus, the Untameable]. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Achille le guerrier [Achilles the Warrior]. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Orphée aux Enfers [Orpheus in Hell], Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Zeus le roi des dieux [Zeus, King of the Gods], Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Héphaïstos et l'amour d'Aphrodite [Hephaistos and the Love of Aphrodite]. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Thésée contre le Minotaure [Theseus Against the Minotaur]. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. La malédiction d'Oedipe [Oedipus’ Curse]. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. La belle Hélène [The Beautiful Helen]. Paris: Nathan, 2014.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Apollon, le dieu dauphin [Apollo, the Dolphin God]. Paris: Nathan, 2015.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Le combat de Rémus et Romulus [The Fight between Remus and Romulus]. Paris: Nathan, 2015.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Les monstres de l'Odyssée [Monsters of the Odyssey]. Paris: Nathan, 2016.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Hermès le dieu aux mille dons [Hermes, the God of a Thousand Gifts]. Paris: Nathan, 2017.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Ulysse et le Cyclope [Odysseus and the Cyclops]. Paris: Nathan, 2019. 

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Les monstres de l'Odyssée [Monsters of the Odyssey]. Paris: Nathan, 2019.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Jason et la Toison d’or [Jason and the Golden Fleece]. Paris: Nathan, 2019.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Achille le Guerrier [Achilles the Warrior]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Hermès, le dieu aux mille dons [Hermes, the God of a Thousand Gifts]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Le combat de Rémus et Romulus [The Fight between Remus and Romulus]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Le Labyrinthe de Dédale [Daedalus’ Labyrinth]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Persée et la Gorgone [Perseus and the Gorgon]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

ISBN

Multiple numbers, all starting with: 97820925.

Genre

Illustrated works
Myths
Retelling of myths*
Short stories

Target Audience

Children (9-years and up)

Cover

Courtesy of Univers Jeunesse - Nathan - Syros - Pocket Jeunesse, publisher.


Author of the Entry:

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar Ilan University, mauril68@gmail.com

Courtesy of Univers Jeunesse - Nathan - Syros - Pocket Jeunesse.

Nicolas Duffaut , b. 1977
(Illustrator)

Born in 1977 in Aubenas, in the Ardèche region, he studied illustration at the Émile Cohl School in Lyons where he received his diploma in 2002. Since, he has been working as illustrator for a number of publishers, namely Bayard, Magnard, Flammarion, Milan jeunesse, Nathan, Sarbacane et Tourbillon. He also works for YA press. Among his illustrations connected to Antiquity are Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey:

L’Odyssée d’Homer, illustré par Nicolas Duffaut. Paris: Nathan, 2009

L’Iliade d’Homer illustré par Nicolas Duffaut, Folio Junior. Paris: Galimard Jeunesse, 2014.


Sources:

Profile at the editions-sarbacane.com (accessed: June 3, 2018);

Profile at the babelio.com (accessed: June 3, 2018);

Blog (accessed: June 3, 2018).

Interview on YouTube. Uploaded by Librairie Grangier, Illustrateur talentueux, Nicolas Duffaut nous parle de lui et de son travail (accessed: June 3, 2018).


Bio prepared by Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 


Portrait, courtesy of Univers Jeunesse - Nathan - Syros - Pocket Jeunesse.

Hélène Montardre , b. 1954
(Author)

Born in 1954 in Montreuil, in a family with origins in the Forez Mountains. Because of her father’s occupation (the writer Georges Montforez, 1921-1974), during her childhood and adolescence she frequently moved and lived in many different places: Saint-Étienne, Marvejols, Nantes, Loudun, Issoire. She studied English at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, where she obtained her PhD (L’image des personnages féminins dans la littérature de jeunesse française contemporaine de 1975 à 1995. Lille: Presses universitaires du Septentrion) in 1999. For the last forty years or so, she has lived with her family in the Haute-Garonne, Occitanie. During the last decade, she wrote a number of books based on a variety of Greek myths, with illustrations by Nicholas Duffaut; the books appeared in two series published by Nathan and called: Petites histoires de la mythologie and Contes et légendes jeunesse

She has written over fifty books, mainly for children and received many literary awards: 

1995 2nd prize for roman jeunesse du Ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports

1998 Price Livrami of the city of Pithiviers, 

2003-2004 Price Tatoulu 

2004 Price Livre, mon ami, New Caledonia

2007 Price of the City of Cherbourg-Octeville, XVIIIe Livre d’Or des Jeunes Lecteurs Valenciennois, Price Ruralivres en Pas-de-Calais, Price Latulu des collégiens du Maine-et-Loire 

2007 and 2008 Price of Readers’ Spring, Narbonne, 2007-2008 Literary price of the Montagnes d’Auvergne 

2008 Price Jasmin, Agen, Price Trégor ados, Price Livrentête Culture et Bibliothèques Pour Tous, category Junior Novel. 


Chronological bibliography of Hélène Montardre’s books related to classical antiquity

Non-fiction

Hélène Montardre. L’Empire romain, Les Essentiels Junior. Toulouse: Milan, 2004.

Hélène Montardre. La Grèce ancienne, Les Encyclopes. Toulouse: Milan, 2004.

Hélène Montardre. La mythologie grecque, Les Encyclopes. Toulouse: Milan, 2008.


Series Petites histoires de la mythologie

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Dans le ventre du cheval de Troie. Paris: Nathan, 2010.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Orphée aus Enfers, Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Les douze travaux d’Hercule. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Zeus le roi des dieux. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Héphaïstos et l'amour d'Aphrodite. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Thésée contre le Minotaure. Paris :Nathan, 2013.


Series Contes et légendes jeunesse 

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Persée et la Gorgone. Paris: Nathan, 2010.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Jason et la Toison d'or. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Le labyrinthe de Dédale. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Ulysse et le Cyclope. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. L'enlèvement de Perséphone. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Achille le guerrier. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Pégase, l'indomptable. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Prométhée, le voleur de feu. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Apollon, le dieu dauphin. Paris: Nathan, 2015.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Les monstres de l'Odyssée. Paris: Nathan, 2016.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Hermès Le dieu aux mille dons. Paris: Nathan, 2017.

 

Source for the Bio :

Website of the Maison des écrivains et de la littérature (accessed: June 26, 2018).


Bio prepared by Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com


Summary

Five of the volumes of the series tell stories connected to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey: The Beautiful Helen, Achilles the Warrior, In the Belly of the Trojan Horse, Odysseus and the Cyclops, The Monsters of the Odyssey; five describe Olympian gods: Zeus, King of the Gods, The Abduction of Persephone, Hephaistos and the Love of Aphrodite, Apollo, the Dolphin God*, and Hermes, the God of a Thousand Gifts; eight volumes feature demi-gods, heroes and their stories: Prometheus, the Thief of Fire, Perseus and the Gorgon, Twelve Labours of Heracles, Theseus and the Minotaur, Jason and the Golden Fleece, Daedalus’ Labyrinth, Orpheus in Hell, Oedipus’ Curse; one volume focuses on a magical animal (Pegasus, the Untameable), and one on the Roman myth of the twin brothers and founders of Rome (The Fight between Remus and Romulus). At the end of each volume, a "Pour en savoir plus" section provides basic information about the presented myth's characters and sources.


* There is a play on words in the title Apollon, le dieu dauphin. Dolphins are Apollo’s animals but he is also “le dauphin”, the son of the King.

Analysis

Adaptations of well-known myths for primary school children (the publisher indicates the age of 9+ as the target) are presented as stand-alone, fascinating stories; pleasant reading for that age group. Expressive illustrations, even though they are only in black and white. The three selected stories are typical for this kind of children’s series. There are practically no deviations from the canonical versions of the myths. Still, the manner, style, and language of the gentle narration align with the simple poetics of stories for young children and their specific educational purpose.

A didactic-cognitive aspect is present in the stories themselves and the final more encyclopedic section included in each book. A good balance maintained between the interesting, adventurous narrative and general mythological information. The series covers the best-known myths and individual volumes constituting a cohesive and representative collection of myths for young school children, who acquire a basic knowledge of Greek mythology by reading it. Only a single volume is dedicated to the beginnings of Rome and the myth of Romulus and Remus.

The vocabulary and style of writing represent modern usage; the characters speak in unpretentious 21st century French.

From the point of view of literary content, the series finished in 2017. All volumes published from 2010 to 2017 were illustrated by Nicolas Duffaut, however, starting in 2019, the previously published eight volumes have been reissued as new editions with illustrations by Nancy Pena. It is unclear yet whether the remaining twelve are also going to be republished with new illustrations. The books are also available on Kindle.

Further Reading

Montardre, Hélène, Fiche d’auteur, Maison des écrivains et de la littérature, (accessed: October 26, 2020).
Nières-Chevrel, Isabelle, Introduction à la littérature de jeunesse. Paris: Didier Jeunesse, 2009.
Prince, Nathalie & Servoise, Sylvie. Les personnages mythique dans la littérature de jeunesse. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2015.

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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Little Stories from Mythology [Petites histoires de la mythologie] (Series)

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

France

Original Language

French

First Edition Date

2010

First Edition Details

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Dans le ventre du cheval de Troie [In the Belly of the Trojan Horse]. Paris: Nathan, 2010.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Persée et la Gorgone [Perseus and the Gorgon]. Paris: Nathan, 2010.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Jason et la Toison d'or [Jason and the Golden Fleece]. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Le labyrinthe de Dédale [Daedalus’ Labyrinth]. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Ulysse et le Cyclope [Odysseus and the Cyclops]. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Les douze travaux d’Hercule [The Twelve Labours of Hercules]. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. L’enlèvement de Perséphone [The Abduction of Persephone]. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Prométhée, le voleur de feu [Prometheus, the Thief of Fire]. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Pégase, l’indomptable [Pegasus, the Untameable]. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Achille le guerrier [Achilles the Warrior]. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Orphée aux Enfers [Orpheus in Hell], Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Zeus le roi des dieux [Zeus, King of the Gods], Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Héphaïstos et l'amour d'Aphrodite [Hephaistos and the Love of Aphrodite]. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Thésée contre le Minotaure [Theseus Against the Minotaur]. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. La malédiction d'Oedipe [Oedipus’ Curse]. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. La belle Hélène [The Beautiful Helen]. Paris: Nathan, 2014.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Apollon, le dieu dauphin [Apollo, the Dolphin God]. Paris: Nathan, 2015.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Le combat de Rémus et Romulus [The Fight between Remus and Romulus]. Paris: Nathan, 2015.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Les monstres de l'Odyssée [Monsters of the Odyssey]. Paris: Nathan, 2016.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Hermès le dieu aux mille dons [Hermes, the God of a Thousand Gifts]. Paris: Nathan, 2017.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Ulysse et le Cyclope [Odysseus and the Cyclops]. Paris: Nathan, 2019. 

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Les monstres de l'Odyssée [Monsters of the Odyssey]. Paris: Nathan, 2019.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Jason et la Toison d’or [Jason and the Golden Fleece]. Paris: Nathan, 2019.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Achille le Guerrier [Achilles the Warrior]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Hermès, le dieu aux mille dons [Hermes, the God of a Thousand Gifts]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Le combat de Rémus et Romulus [The Fight between Remus and Romulus]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Le Labyrinthe de Dédale [Daedalus’ Labyrinth]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

Hélène Montardre, Nancy Pena, ill. Persée et la Gorgone [Perseus and the Gorgon]. Paris: Nathan, 2020.

ISBN

Multiple numbers, all starting with: 97820925.

Genre

Illustrated works
Myths
Retelling of myths*
Short stories

Target Audience

Children (9-years and up)

Cover

Courtesy of Univers Jeunesse - Nathan - Syros - Pocket Jeunesse, publisher.


Author of the Entry:

Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar Ilan University, mauril68@gmail.com

Courtesy of Univers Jeunesse - Nathan - Syros - Pocket Jeunesse.

Nicolas Duffaut (Illustrator)

Born in 1977 in Aubenas, in the Ardèche region, he studied illustration at the Émile Cohl School in Lyons where he received his diploma in 2002. Since, he has been working as illustrator for a number of publishers, namely Bayard, Magnard, Flammarion, Milan jeunesse, Nathan, Sarbacane et Tourbillon. He also works for YA press. Among his illustrations connected to Antiquity are Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey:

L’Odyssée d’Homer, illustré par Nicolas Duffaut. Paris: Nathan, 2009

L’Iliade d’Homer illustré par Nicolas Duffaut, Folio Junior. Paris: Galimard Jeunesse, 2014.


Sources:

Profile at the editions-sarbacane.com (accessed: June 3, 2018);

Profile at the babelio.com (accessed: June 3, 2018);

Blog (accessed: June 3, 2018).

Interview on YouTube. Uploaded by Librairie Grangier, Illustrateur talentueux, Nicolas Duffaut nous parle de lui et de son travail (accessed: June 3, 2018).


Bio prepared by Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com 


Portrait, courtesy of Univers Jeunesse - Nathan - Syros - Pocket Jeunesse.

Hélène Montardre (Author)

Born in 1954 in Montreuil, in a family with origins in the Forez Mountains. Because of her father’s occupation (the writer Georges Montforez, 1921-1974), during her childhood and adolescence she frequently moved and lived in many different places: Saint-Étienne, Marvejols, Nantes, Loudun, Issoire. She studied English at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, where she obtained her PhD (L’image des personnages féminins dans la littérature de jeunesse française contemporaine de 1975 à 1995. Lille: Presses universitaires du Septentrion) in 1999. For the last forty years or so, she has lived with her family in the Haute-Garonne, Occitanie. During the last decade, she wrote a number of books based on a variety of Greek myths, with illustrations by Nicholas Duffaut; the books appeared in two series published by Nathan and called: Petites histoires de la mythologie and Contes et légendes jeunesse

She has written over fifty books, mainly for children and received many literary awards: 

1995 2nd prize for roman jeunesse du Ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports

1998 Price Livrami of the city of Pithiviers, 

2003-2004 Price Tatoulu 

2004 Price Livre, mon ami, New Caledonia

2007 Price of the City of Cherbourg-Octeville, XVIIIe Livre d’Or des Jeunes Lecteurs Valenciennois, Price Ruralivres en Pas-de-Calais, Price Latulu des collégiens du Maine-et-Loire 

2007 and 2008 Price of Readers’ Spring, Narbonne, 2007-2008 Literary price of the Montagnes d’Auvergne 

2008 Price Jasmin, Agen, Price Trégor ados, Price Livrentête Culture et Bibliothèques Pour Tous, category Junior Novel. 


Chronological bibliography of Hélène Montardre’s books related to classical antiquity

Non-fiction

Hélène Montardre. L’Empire romain, Les Essentiels Junior. Toulouse: Milan, 2004.

Hélène Montardre. La Grèce ancienne, Les Encyclopes. Toulouse: Milan, 2004.

Hélène Montardre. La mythologie grecque, Les Encyclopes. Toulouse: Milan, 2008.


Series Petites histoires de la mythologie

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Dans le ventre du cheval de Troie. Paris: Nathan, 2010.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Orphée aus Enfers, Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Les douze travaux d’Hercule. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Zeus le roi des dieux. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Héphaïstos et l'amour d'Aphrodite. Paris: Nathan, 2013.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Thésée contre le Minotaure. Paris :Nathan, 2013.


Series Contes et légendes jeunesse 

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Persée et la Gorgone. Paris: Nathan, 2010.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Jason et la Toison d'or. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Le labyrinthe de Dédale. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Ulysse et le Cyclope. Paris: Nathan, 2011.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. L'enlèvement de Perséphone. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Achille le guerrier. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Pégase, l'indomptable. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Prométhée, le voleur de feu. Paris: Nathan, 2012.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Apollon, le dieu dauphin. Paris: Nathan, 2015.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Les monstres de l'Odyssée. Paris: Nathan, 2016.

Hélène Montardre, Nicolas Duffaut, ill. Hermès Le dieu aux mille dons. Paris: Nathan, 2017.

 

Source for the Bio :

Website of the Maison des écrivains et de la littérature (accessed: June 26, 2018).


Bio prepared by Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, elzbieta.olechowska@gmail.com


Summary

Five of the volumes of the series tell stories connected to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey: The Beautiful Helen, Achilles the Warrior, In the Belly of the Trojan Horse, Odysseus and the Cyclops, The Monsters of the Odyssey; five describe Olympian gods: Zeus, King of the Gods, The Abduction of Persephone, Hephaistos and the Love of Aphrodite, Apollo, the Dolphin God*, and Hermes, the God of a Thousand Gifts; eight volumes feature demi-gods, heroes and their stories: Prometheus, the Thief of Fire, Perseus and the Gorgon, Twelve Labours of Heracles, Theseus and the Minotaur, Jason and the Golden Fleece, Daedalus’ Labyrinth, Orpheus in Hell, Oedipus’ Curse; one volume focuses on a magical animal (Pegasus, the Untameable), and one on the Roman myth of the twin brothers and founders of Rome (The Fight between Remus and Romulus). At the end of each volume, a "Pour en savoir plus" section provides basic information about the presented myth's characters and sources.


* There is a play on words in the title Apollon, le dieu dauphin. Dolphins are Apollo’s animals but he is also “le dauphin”, the son of the King.

Analysis

Adaptations of well-known myths for primary school children (the publisher indicates the age of 9+ as the target) are presented as stand-alone, fascinating stories; pleasant reading for that age group. Expressive illustrations, even though they are only in black and white. The three selected stories are typical for this kind of children’s series. There are practically no deviations from the canonical versions of the myths. Still, the manner, style, and language of the gentle narration align with the simple poetics of stories for young children and their specific educational purpose.

A didactic-cognitive aspect is present in the stories themselves and the final more encyclopedic section included in each book. A good balance maintained between the interesting, adventurous narrative and general mythological information. The series covers the best-known myths and individual volumes constituting a cohesive and representative collection of myths for young school children, who acquire a basic knowledge of Greek mythology by reading it. Only a single volume is dedicated to the beginnings of Rome and the myth of Romulus and Remus.

The vocabulary and style of writing represent modern usage; the characters speak in unpretentious 21st century French.

From the point of view of literary content, the series finished in 2017. All volumes published from 2010 to 2017 were illustrated by Nicolas Duffaut, however, starting in 2019, the previously published eight volumes have been reissued as new editions with illustrations by Nancy Pena. It is unclear yet whether the remaining twelve are also going to be republished with new illustrations. The books are also available on Kindle.

Further Reading

Montardre, Hélène, Fiche d’auteur, Maison des écrivains et de la littérature, (accessed: October 26, 2020).
Nières-Chevrel, Isabelle, Introduction à la littérature de jeunesse. Paris: Didier Jeunesse, 2009.
Prince, Nathalie & Servoise, Sylvie. Les personnages mythique dans la littérature de jeunesse. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2015.

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