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Anna Manolatos , Frank Sikalas

Theseus and the Minotaur: Birth of a Hero

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Australia

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Title of the work

Theseus and the Minotaur: Birth of a Hero

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Australia

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2017

First Edition Details

Frank Sikalas, Theseus and the Minotaur: Birth of a Hero, Brisbane: Frank Sikalas and InHouse Publishing, 2017, unnumbered 35 pp.

ISBN

9781925497977

Genre

Myths
Picture books

Target Audience

Children (Intended for young children)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Allison White, University of New England, awhite55@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS, University of Yaounde 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Female portrait

Anna Manolatos (Illustrator)

Manolatos is an illustrator based in Brisbane, Australia. In 2005, she completed a degree in design at the Queensland College of Art. She uses mixed media and is recognised both nationally and internationally.


Source: 

Official website (accessed: March 19, 2019)


Bio prepared by Allison White, University of New England, awhite55@une.edu.au


Male portrait

Frank Sikalas , b. 1982
(Author)

Frank Sikalas, born in 1982, grew up in Brisbane, Queensland. Since a very young age, Sikalas has always enjoyed reading, and was particularly keen on reading R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps while he was in primary school. As he was growing up, he had often been drawn to writing and self-expression and relished any type of mythological stories, whether Greek, Norse, or Egyptian. He completed a degree in Ancient History and Mythology at the University of Queensland in 2012. Sikalas has published several comic books including: Icarus Rising #1 (2017) Athena Warrior Goddess (2018) and Warriors 3 (2018). 


Source: Frank Sikalas, correspondence: 2019

See also: antipodeanodyssey.wordpress.co (accessed: March 19, 2019)


Bio prepared by Allison White, University of New England, awhite55@une.edu.au


Summary

In this picture book version of the Theseus Myth, Theseus is a young man born of Princess Aethra and King Aegeus but also the son of Poseidon. He has incredible strength (being a demi-god) and is able to lift large boulders with one arm. When he turns 16, Theseus must remove his father’s sword and sandals from under a large rock, which have been hidden there until he is old enough to meet his father, King of Athens. Once he has obtained them, Theseus sails to his father’s kingdom. Upon arrival, he notices seven young Athenians bound and waiting to be sent to Crete to be fed to the Minotaur. This troubles Theseus, and he offers to take the place of one of the Athenians so that he can try to slay the minotaur. He sails to Crete and meets Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos, who gives him a sword and a clew (thread). He ties the clew to the entrance of the Labyrinth and ventures into the maze with the other young Athenians. Theseus finds the Minotaur and after a long battle, uses all his strength to throw the monster into a black hole in the centre of the maze. He uses the clew to escape the maze, and once they reach the outside, Theseus, Ariadne and the Athenians flee to a ship and with the help of Poseidon, sail back to Athens.

Analysis

This is a retelling of the classic myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. It is written for a younger audience, and has been adapted so that there is very little violence. According to Ovid (Met. VIII 152-82) and Plutarch (Life of Theseus XVIII), Theseus kills the Minotaur by slaying it with a sword. In this children’s book, however, the monster knocks the sword out of Theseus’ hand and he instead throws the monster into a hold in the Labyrinth – this recount being more age appropriate for young readers. Likewise, the story diverges from Plutarch’s and Ps-Apollodorus’ account where Theseus desires to travers to Athens by foot – a much more dangerous route than that of the sea. He encounters more violence on this path than the voyage that he takes on the sea in Theseus and the Minotaur. The story is told with bright, vivid colours. When Theseus is at home or in Athens, the pictures are coloured with pale blues, greens and yellows – giving an innocent and fairy-tale ambiance. When he reaches Crete, the colours change to predominately black, greys and dark blues. The story here feels dark and dangerous, with the images of King Minos and the Minotaur appearing evil and frightening. This book is a vibrant, highly enjoyable read and serves as an excellent introduction to the Theseus myth for young children.


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Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Theseus and the Minotaur: Birth of a Hero

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

Australia

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2017

First Edition Details

Frank Sikalas, Theseus and the Minotaur: Birth of a Hero, Brisbane: Frank Sikalas and InHouse Publishing, 2017, unnumbered 35 pp.

ISBN

9781925497977

Genre

Myths
Picture books

Target Audience

Children (Intended for young children)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Allison White, University of New England, awhite55@une.edu.au

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, ehale@une.edu.au

Daniel Nkemleke, ENS, University of Yaounde 1, nkemlekedan@yahoo.com

Female portrait

Anna Manolatos (Illustrator)

Manolatos is an illustrator based in Brisbane, Australia. In 2005, she completed a degree in design at the Queensland College of Art. She uses mixed media and is recognised both nationally and internationally.


Source: 

Official website (accessed: March 19, 2019)


Bio prepared by Allison White, University of New England, awhite55@une.edu.au


Male portrait

Frank Sikalas (Author)

Frank Sikalas, born in 1982, grew up in Brisbane, Queensland. Since a very young age, Sikalas has always enjoyed reading, and was particularly keen on reading R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps while he was in primary school. As he was growing up, he had often been drawn to writing and self-expression and relished any type of mythological stories, whether Greek, Norse, or Egyptian. He completed a degree in Ancient History and Mythology at the University of Queensland in 2012. Sikalas has published several comic books including: Icarus Rising #1 (2017) Athena Warrior Goddess (2018) and Warriors 3 (2018). 


Source: Frank Sikalas, correspondence: 2019

See also: antipodeanodyssey.wordpress.co (accessed: March 19, 2019)


Bio prepared by Allison White, University of New England, awhite55@une.edu.au


Summary

In this picture book version of the Theseus Myth, Theseus is a young man born of Princess Aethra and King Aegeus but also the son of Poseidon. He has incredible strength (being a demi-god) and is able to lift large boulders with one arm. When he turns 16, Theseus must remove his father’s sword and sandals from under a large rock, which have been hidden there until he is old enough to meet his father, King of Athens. Once he has obtained them, Theseus sails to his father’s kingdom. Upon arrival, he notices seven young Athenians bound and waiting to be sent to Crete to be fed to the Minotaur. This troubles Theseus, and he offers to take the place of one of the Athenians so that he can try to slay the minotaur. He sails to Crete and meets Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos, who gives him a sword and a clew (thread). He ties the clew to the entrance of the Labyrinth and ventures into the maze with the other young Athenians. Theseus finds the Minotaur and after a long battle, uses all his strength to throw the monster into a black hole in the centre of the maze. He uses the clew to escape the maze, and once they reach the outside, Theseus, Ariadne and the Athenians flee to a ship and with the help of Poseidon, sail back to Athens.

Analysis

This is a retelling of the classic myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. It is written for a younger audience, and has been adapted so that there is very little violence. According to Ovid (Met. VIII 152-82) and Plutarch (Life of Theseus XVIII), Theseus kills the Minotaur by slaying it with a sword. In this children’s book, however, the monster knocks the sword out of Theseus’ hand and he instead throws the monster into a hold in the Labyrinth – this recount being more age appropriate for young readers. Likewise, the story diverges from Plutarch’s and Ps-Apollodorus’ account where Theseus desires to travers to Athens by foot – a much more dangerous route than that of the sea. He encounters more violence on this path than the voyage that he takes on the sea in Theseus and the Minotaur. The story is told with bright, vivid colours. When Theseus is at home or in Athens, the pictures are coloured with pale blues, greens and yellows – giving an innocent and fairy-tale ambiance. When he reaches Crete, the colours change to predominately black, greys and dark blues. The story here feels dark and dangerous, with the images of King Minos and the Minotaur appearing evil and frightening. This book is a vibrant, highly enjoyable read and serves as an excellent introduction to the Theseus myth for young children.


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