Blog for the international research project "Our Mythical Childhood… The Reception of Classical Antiquity in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture in Response to Regional and Global Challenges", financed by the ERC Consolidator Grant led by Prof. Katarzyna Marciniak, Faculty of "Artes Liberales" of the University of Warsaw. Team members: Prof. Susan Deacy and Steve K. Simons, University of Roehampton; Prof. Elizabeth Hale and Dr Miriam Riverlea, University of New England; Prof. Lisa Maurice and Dr Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University; Prof. Daniel A. Nkemleke, Dr Divine Che Neba and Dr Eleanor A. Dasi, University of Yaoundé I; Dr Elżbieta Olechowska, Dr Hanna Paulouskaya, Dr Sonya Nevin, Dott. Edoardo Pecchini, Marta Pszczolińska, Angelina Gerus and the Project Officers: Magdalena Andersen, Maria Makarewicz, and Olga Strycharczyk from the Faculty of "Artes Liberales" UW.
Mythical Realms® is one of the collection of toys created by Safari Ltd®. The pieces from the collection depict various figures and monsters from the world of mythology, like for example Poseidon, Minotaur, Chimera.
The age category of the collection is 3+, however, the figurines may contain small parts that may constitute a choking hazard.
The great advantage of the Mythical Realms® are the fine-tuned details of the figurines that makes them look very realistic. All the characters have interesting descriptions on the manufacturer’s website.
Outside the collection, Safari Ltd® offers the Mythical Realms® TOOB® with 8 small figures from Greek mythology, containing Chimera, Griffin, Phoenix, Unicorn, Sea Dragon, the Minotaur, Poseidon and a Mermaid.
„Pszczoły” is a big format book, similar to the world-famous„Mapy” by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielińscy from 2012 (also published by Wydawnictwo Dwie Siostry). Each spread is dedicated to another topic concerning bees: their biology, production of honey, human-bees relations during history, modern beekeeping etc. Among them ancient Egypt, Greek mythology, and ancient history (Alexander the Great and Poppaea Sabina, the second wife of the emperor Nero) are also present.
Also there are two newspaper-like spreads, containing briefly described facts: on one of them the Aristotle is mentioned, the other – Virgil’s “Georgics”. Besides ancient historians and writers such as Strabo and Pliny the Elder are mentioned.
An interview with Agnes Monod-Gayraud, a translator of „Pszczoły” (in English):
English: 1) Piotr Socha, “The Book of Bees”, trans. Agnes Monod-Gayraud, London: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2016 (UK), 2_ Piotr Socha,”Bees: a honeyed history”, trans. Agnes Monod-Gayraud, New York: ABRAMS Books for Young Readers, 2017 (USA).
Finnish: Piotr Socha, “Mehiläinen”, trans. Päivi Paloposki, Helsinki: Nemo, 2016.
French: Piotr Socha,”Abeilles”, trans. Lydia Waleryszak, Paris: De La Martinière jeunesse, 2016.
German: Piotr Socha, “Bienen”, trans. Thomas Weiler, Hildesheim: Garstenberg, 2016.
Italian: Piotr Socha, “Il regno delle api”, trans. Valentina Parisi, Milano: Electakids, 2016.
Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński are the creators of books for children, illustrations, fonts, applications, and websites. They run their own desing studio – Hipopotam Studio.
Their “MAPS: A Journey around the World in Pictures” (Polish: “Mapy: obrazkowa podróż po lądach, morzach i kulturach świata”, created by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński), containing 51 pictorial maps for children, became an international bestseller.
The book was published for the first time in 2012 in Poland, by Wydawnictwo Dwie Siostry. Then, it has been translated into many different languages and was published in (approximately) 25 countries. The publication won prestigious awards, among others Prix Sorcières(2013) and Premio Andersen (2013), and was found on the list of “the six most interesting and most beautiful illustrated children’s books, released in 2013” by “New York Times” (read more).
In the book we find many traces of Graeco-Roman Antiquity – they are located on the maps of Italy and Greece. We see there some important characters (among others): Julius Caesar, Homer, and Pythagoras, as well as mythical creatures (Siren, Centaur) and the most important monuments.
The photos of the maps were taken by the author of this post.
The story is about a hare called Tru who lives in a town divided into two distinct districts: a rich and a poor one. Tru, as an inhabitant of the latter, is unable to buy expensive gadgets so he decides to invent them. With his new machines, toys, and vehicles, he manages to erase the differences between rich and poor communities.
In the town centre stands a statue of a local hero, Zając Herkules[Hercules the Hare]; also, a Zając Herkules award was given to Tru for creating innovations for the forest. The text does not explain the origins of the name or the deeds done by Zając Herkules for the community. By using the mythological reference, the author is able to create a modern version of the classical hero, who can be regarded as a role model for his community. It could also be the case that Tru became inspired by Zając Herkules’ deeds (although this is never made clear to the reader) and decided to fight the obstacles and injustice in the world the best he can, that is with his talent for inventing new objects which help the community. This shows the young reader that it is not only the strong and muscular, like the mythical Hercules (or his hare fellow, Zając Herkules) who may become a hero, but anyone can, if only his/her talents are used to perform good deeds.
About “Tru” (in Polish) on the official website of Media Rodzina publishing house – link