Greek myth for the eBook generation of children: Perseus by Simon Spence

DUBLIN - Feb. 5, 2014 - PRLog -- Classicist turned IT guru Dr Simon Spence is marrying the two loves of his life in his beautiful new book for children – Perseus. He gives us a retelling of the ancient Greek myth of the hero Perseus – the one with the winged sandals who slew the Gorgon Medusa – that is especially pitched at children from ages 3 to 10.

Simon has used a variety of approaches to make reading the book an interactive treat for children and parents alike. Beautifully illustrated, the tale also uses simple language, but without ‘dumbing down’ the original material. Simon got the idea when racking his brains for bedtime stories for his own daughter, aged three-and-a-half: “It occurred to me when I was telling her some of the Greek myths that I worked on myself during my years in university, that she had no trouble understanding the plots or handling the ancient Greek character names…kids can absorb pretty complex material if we give them a chance.”

One of the most endearing parts of the book are the little audio buttons that appear over certain parts of the illustrations: press them and you hear the three-and-a-half year old herself pronouncing the character names as a guide for everyone else. For those children who want to be left alone to absorb the story themselves there is also an audio recording of the narrative.

Simon was delighted that the Apple iBooks Store allowed him to incorporate these different media in the one package: “It makes it genuinely interactive and means there are lots of different ways for children of all ages to engage with the story.” But he was also keen to remain faithful to the original Greek sources: “This is not something that is really obvious, or even important for anyone to know, but I wanted to ensure that the illustrations are a modern interpretation of the earliest Greek vase paintings which were often used to portray scenes from myths and legends.”

The early visual evidence of some of the best known Greek myths was the subject of Simon’s own PhD studies at the University of Nottingham. He has since moved into the world of IT, teaching and coaching individuals and small businesses on how to get the most out of their Apple equipment. Evidence that he has not left the classics world behind however, is clear in the subject of the next eBook for children, due out in Spring 2014. It will be the turn of Jason and the Golden Fleece to get the interactive treatment as he describes the adventures of the Argonauts.

Perseus can be downloaded on the Apple iBooks Store for $2.99 (€2.49), and is available in over 50 countries:

For more information, check out the website at:

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