Hercules is not as interested in “playing nice” as he is in playing strong! But when one feat of strength destroys his little sister’s 12-piece tower, he must use his powers for good to restore the tower and seek her forgiveness. She forgives him indeed, and then shows her own strength by gleefully knocking down the stacked blocks herself! Joan Holub’s expertly focused text pairs perfectly with Leslie Patricelli’s famously humorous illustrations. Includes a summary of the original Hercules’s Twelve Labors myth at the end.
I really like this concept of teaching mythology in a really accessible way, but this wasn’t one of my favorites of this series. The tie in to Hercules’ labors is incredibly loose and while Hercules apologizes at the end for not being nice, he spends so much time being destructive that it feels a little like I’m reinforcing negative rather than positive behavior when reading it to my toddler.
I like quite a few of the books in the Mini Myths series, but this one isn’t my favorite. I don’t love that he’s hitting in the story (toys, but still). He does fix his sister’s block tower, but teachers her to smash them down by his example. I’m fine with knocking down block towers, but I felt like this book mostly promotes aggressive behavior. It’s fun to have the Hercules recap in the back of the story, but I didn’t feel like this story fit super well with the myth.
Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated over 140 children’s books, including the Goddess Girls series, the Heroes in Training series, the New York Times bestselling picture book Mighty Dads (illustrated by James Dean), and Little Red Writing (illustrated by Melissa Sweet). She lives in North Carolina and is online at JoanHolub.com. (Bio via http://www.simonandschuster.com/authors/Joan-Holub/1440894)
I live in the mountain town of Hailey, Idaho. Spaghetti is my favorite food and I wear jeans most of the time. I have no rhythm, but I married a professional drummer! I live with my husband, Jason, my two daughters, Tia and Tatum, my son, Beck (who is studying jazz in New York City, but still has a bedroom), a dog named Shep, three cats named Oreo, Kiki and Red Devil, and a leopard gecko named Bananaz. I’ve been drawing cartoons and writing stories since I was a little kid. Sometimes my pictures and stories were a bit twisted, to say the least. This worried my parents, but I turned out okay! (Bio via lesliepatricelli.com)