Theseus and the Minotaur HC
Publisher: Toon Books
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Price: $16.95
Creator: Yvan Pommaux
Format: 56 pgs., Full-Color, 8” x 10.2”, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-9351-7961-0
Age Rating: 8-12
ICv2 Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5

American children have been saturated with retellings of the myths and legends of ancient Greece, partly due to the success of the Percy Jackson books and other fictions which depend on them.  Sadly, this book is not as good as it could have been.  The artwork is stilted and stylized in unfortunate ways, and the writing is sometimes unclear.  It is uncertain whether this was due to the writer or the translator.  For instance, the text slightly garbles the reason why Theseus needed a ball of thread in order to get out of the Labyrinth.  The instructions he’s given certainly wouldn’t have helped.

The stated goal of this book is to extend the readership of the Toon graphic novels into children who are not beginning readers, and that is an admirable goal.  For readers who have already encountered a version of this story, though, this one will leave them puzzled.  For instance, the title story really fills less than half of the book.  The rest is about the other parts of the life of Theseus, along an annotated index and some very good notes.

Some readers will enjoy this as yet another Greek Myth story, but the artistic style and text are unlikely to add many readers to the field.
--Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California