Title: The Children’ Book of Heroesthe children's book of heroes
Editor: William J. Bennett
Illustrator: Michael Hague
Pages: 112
Reading Level: 8 & up (or read aloud)
Star Rating: ★★★

Heroes. They’re such an established, overworked concept – always showing up to thwart a villain with a show of fireworks and applause. But what are heroes really? They are individuals who put themselves at risk to fight for what is right. And by that definition, many people are heroes who will never be recognized as such.

This book, The Children’s Book of Heroes, tries to narrow the gap between legendary heroes and the heroes of the everyday. It includes stories about famous men like George Washington and King David, but also praises Mother Theresa and Helen Keller. It recounts the legends of Oedipus and Theseus, but also eulogizes the mother who loves and cares for her son and the children who, without previous experience or training, have saved lives.

The legends of Oedipus and Theseus include them slaying transhumanistic creatures – a sphinx and a minotaur. Dramatic illustrations are included of both of these creatures. In another story, animals live on the side of the world that is only dark and must find a way to carry sunshine from the bright side to the dark side.

Also, the story of Sir Roland is told, which I love, but which also includes small elements of magic.

Conclusion. Your call. The book is beautifully illustrated, but you’ll have to decide exactly what kind of heroes you want to set before your children.

Review © 2015 Laura Verret

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