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G. Brian Karas

Young Zeus

YEAR: 2010

COUNTRY: United States of America

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Title of the work

Young Zeus

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2010

First Edition Details

G. Brian Karas, Young Zeus, New York: Scholastic Press, 2010, 48 pp.

ISBN

9780439728065

Genre

Fiction
Myths

Target Audience

Children (3 yo)

Cover

Missing cover

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


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, ayelet.peer@biu.ac.il 

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il 

Susan Deacy, Roehampton University, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

G. Brian Karas , b. 1957
(Author)

G. Brian Karas is an award-winning American author and artist. He graduated from Paier School of Art in Hamden CT in 1979. Right after his graduation, he was hired by the Hallmark Humorous Cards department. His first illustrated book, The Holiday Handwriting School by Robin Pulver was published in 1991. Since then he has illustrated many books, among them The Village Blacksmith (2020), The Dinosaur Expert (2018), Anywhere Farm (2017), and many more.


Source:

https://www.gbriankaras.com/aboutme.html (accessed: January 10, 2021).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com




Summary

This book follows the life of young Zeus, from his birth to his triumph over the Titans. During these events, Zeus remains a young boy (hence, the title) although we do not know his exact age. He grows up on Crete and then his enchanted she-goat nurse, Amaltheia, shares with him the fate of his brothers and sisters whom Cronus swallowed. Zeus decides to rescue them and he consults with his mother Rhea who comes to visit him. Zeus succeeds in making Cronus throw up and saving his siblings and then frees the Cyclops with the help of his grandmother Gaia. The young Olympians then fight the titans with the help of Zeus' thunderbolts. In the end, the happy Olympian family argue about everyday chores and laugh together among the clouds.

Analysis

On the cover, the author notes that his visit to Greece made him connect more personally with the ancient myths and that he also recognized his relatives in the human-like behaviour of the ancient gods and goddesses. He notes that he had consulted the Theogony and Apollodorus' Library yet while he could not find sufficient material on Zeus' youth he "imagined the rest." However, most of the details found in this book are taken from the classical myths on Zeus. The more imaginary parts are Zeus's childish bickering with his siblings or his heartfelt conversation with his mother, whom Zeus thinks abandoned him. 

The story refers to the king of the gods as an infant and then as a toddler, approximately the same age as the readers. Hence, the young readers can more easily identify with our titular character.

Zeus experiences feelings of sadness and loneliness on Crete, since he has no one to play with. He also believes his mother has abandoned him. However, she gave him away in order to save him and frequently checks on him in secret. The two meet and reconcile with a loving embrace.

 Brave little Zeus is not deterred by the dangers ahead of his cruel father and bravely proceeds to rescue his siblings. In a powerful image, we understand his fears. We see in the illustration a little Zeus sitting with his hands around his head and a menacing figure with an open mouth looms in the sky above. Zeus appears tiny in comparison with his mammoth father and probably feels helpless, but he is not and he is surrounded by his animal friends. The young readers may feel empathy for young Zeus, since they perhaps have experienced menacing thoughts or hardships in their lives as well, and they can identify with this image and see themselves in the little boy who hides his face in his hands.

Yet Zeus' determination is strong. After reconciling with his mother, he sets off at once. Comically, the author makes the siblings bicker with each other immediately upon their release, especially regarding the identity of their leader. Yet Zeus' strong will convinces them of his abilities. In the end, when they all yell at him "who made you boss" he replies "I did" and Gaia eventually affirms his statement. Then after restoring peace and order among his siblings, Zeus continues to rule the world, bringing the story to a blissful end.


Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Young Zeus

Country of the First Edition

Country/countries of popularity

worldwide

Original Language

English

First Edition Date

2010

First Edition Details

G. Brian Karas, Young Zeus, New York: Scholastic Press, 2010, 48 pp.

ISBN

9780439728065

Genre

Fiction
Myths

Target Audience

Children (3 yo)

Cover

Missing cover

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


Author of the Entry:

Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, ayelet.peer@biu.ac.il 

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Lisa Maurice, Bar Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il 

Susan Deacy, Roehampton University, s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk

Male portrait

G. Brian Karas (Author)

G. Brian Karas is an award-winning American author and artist. He graduated from Paier School of Art in Hamden CT in 1979. Right after his graduation, he was hired by the Hallmark Humorous Cards department. His first illustrated book, The Holiday Handwriting School by Robin Pulver was published in 1991. Since then he has illustrated many books, among them The Village Blacksmith (2020), The Dinosaur Expert (2018), Anywhere Farm (2017), and many more.


Source:

https://www.gbriankaras.com/aboutme.html (accessed: January 10, 2021).


Bio prepared by Ayelet Peer, Bar Ilan University, ayelet.peer@gmail.com




Summary

This book follows the life of young Zeus, from his birth to his triumph over the Titans. During these events, Zeus remains a young boy (hence, the title) although we do not know his exact age. He grows up on Crete and then his enchanted she-goat nurse, Amaltheia, shares with him the fate of his brothers and sisters whom Cronus swallowed. Zeus decides to rescue them and he consults with his mother Rhea who comes to visit him. Zeus succeeds in making Cronus throw up and saving his siblings and then frees the Cyclops with the help of his grandmother Gaia. The young Olympians then fight the titans with the help of Zeus' thunderbolts. In the end, the happy Olympian family argue about everyday chores and laugh together among the clouds.

Analysis

On the cover, the author notes that his visit to Greece made him connect more personally with the ancient myths and that he also recognized his relatives in the human-like behaviour of the ancient gods and goddesses. He notes that he had consulted the Theogony and Apollodorus' Library yet while he could not find sufficient material on Zeus' youth he "imagined the rest." However, most of the details found in this book are taken from the classical myths on Zeus. The more imaginary parts are Zeus's childish bickering with his siblings or his heartfelt conversation with his mother, whom Zeus thinks abandoned him. 

The story refers to the king of the gods as an infant and then as a toddler, approximately the same age as the readers. Hence, the young readers can more easily identify with our titular character.

Zeus experiences feelings of sadness and loneliness on Crete, since he has no one to play with. He also believes his mother has abandoned him. However, she gave him away in order to save him and frequently checks on him in secret. The two meet and reconcile with a loving embrace.

 Brave little Zeus is not deterred by the dangers ahead of his cruel father and bravely proceeds to rescue his siblings. In a powerful image, we understand his fears. We see in the illustration a little Zeus sitting with his hands around his head and a menacing figure with an open mouth looms in the sky above. Zeus appears tiny in comparison with his mammoth father and probably feels helpless, but he is not and he is surrounded by his animal friends. The young readers may feel empathy for young Zeus, since they perhaps have experienced menacing thoughts or hardships in their lives as well, and they can identify with this image and see themselves in the little boy who hides his face in his hands.

Yet Zeus' determination is strong. After reconciling with his mother, he sets off at once. Comically, the author makes the siblings bicker with each other immediately upon their release, especially regarding the identity of their leader. Yet Zeus' strong will convinces them of his abilities. In the end, when they all yell at him "who made you boss" he replies "I did" and Gaia eventually affirms his statement. Then after restoring peace and order among his siblings, Zeus continues to rule the world, bringing the story to a blissful end.


Yellow cloud