Atticus the Storyteller's 100 Greek Myths
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Illustrated by Anthony Lewis
Shortlisted for 2004 BBC Blue Peter Book Awards
Atticus the storyteller leaves his home in Crete and sets out on an epic journey round Greece with Melissa, his faithful donkey. His destination is the competition that takes place at the great Storytelling Festival at Troy. On the way he visits all the places where the stories actually happened, and tells the tales to all the people he meets. He survives shipwreck, storms, savage dogs and all manner of obstacles before he arrives at Troy. Does he win the competition? You’ll have to get the book and see! Meanwhile, read an extract, take Atticus’s Quiz and visit his interactive map in the Kids’ Area.
Why I loved writing this book:
The Greek myths have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, so when I was asked to write this book (now the biggest collection on the market for children), it was a dream come true. The publisher wanted something a bit different, so I thought and thought, and suddenly Atticus and Melissa popped into my head. I’d always been fascinated by the fact that the myths and the landscape of Greece are inextricably mixed up, and when I started to do some research, I found out that all the myths are linked to real places which you can visit to this day. That’s when Atticus and Melissa told me they wanted to go on a journey. I had huge fun (and some huge headaches) planning the whole thing, and spent a lot of time with my walls covered in big maps stuck with different coloured pins, working it all out.
You will see that the book is dedicated to my two headmistresses, June Vallance and Ruth Rudge, two strong, wonderful women, who were instrumental in lighting a real fiery love for classics in my heart. When I sent a copy to Ruth, this is what she wrote and sent out to lots of people. I was hugely touched and it meant a great deal to me. It’s probably the best ‘school report’ I’ve ever had:
“Lucy’s retelling of 100 Greek myths is a tour de force. She has woven the stories into an amazingly coherent tapestry, by the simple device of a storyteller travelling with his donkey through Greece, thus enabling her to describe not only the setting, but also local customs connected with the myths. It is written beautifully, in modern style, and copiously, amusingly and accurately illustrated by Anthony Lewis.
“Despite a lifetime’s familiarity with these myths, I have re-read them, in Lucy’s version, with the greatest pleasure. It would seem to me to be a perfect introduction to this wonderland of literature as well as a delightful way of re-calling and viewing afresh what one has long loved.
“I thoroughly recommend it to you all.” R.M.Rudge
These two handy little paperbacks contain 50 stories each, taken from Atticus. A handy reference to carry around in your pocket.
Atticus the Storyteller: CD1 read by Simon Russell Beale
Atticus the Storyteller: CD2 read by Simon Russell Beale
Published in 2002 (hardback) and 2004 (paperback)
by Orion Publishing
Also published in Greek, Italian, Hebrew and Serbo-Croat