So, I’ve signed up to do my first collaboration with Sweet Cherry Publishing, where I’ve received a couple of books to review. As an avid reader, and a teacher, I couldn’t turn the chance down!
Hopeless Heroes is a series of books written by Stella Tarakson and illustrated by Nick Roberts, and are aimed really at readers from 6-8 years old, so those from Year 2-Year 4 if you work in schools! The first story revolves around a young boy, Tim Baker, and an ‘accident’ with a priceless vase. Breaking the vase unleashes Hercules (of Greek mythology fame), who proceeds to change his life in occasionally positive, but usually comically bad ways. Throughout the book, Tim is constantly put in trouble thanks to his new friend, but manages to fumble his way through. The plot involving the bully, and Tim growing in confidence to stand up to him was a good message to the children the book is aimed at too.
I thought the part about the mum writing a book was a bit too self-referential if I’m honest, though on the whole the dynamic between Tim and his mum was a good one – there was an honesty to it and it was a believable relationship. I don’t think children would look at it in the way I would though! Finally, the ending sets up an interesting future for the characters involved, and hints at a wider story arch that will keep readers engaged.
The illustrations are great too, and Nick has done an excellent job throughout. The black and white Greek style works really well on the page, and are suitably cartoony for the age group.
We were learning about Greeks at the time of reviewing the book, so the children were able to spot the references to the trials of Hercules and added a bit more depth. I would definitely recommend saving these till your child is getting into Greek mythology or learning about it at school. Still worth a look by the way if your child is not that confident when it comes to reading, even if slightly older than the target market.
Now, onto the book tags. These are based on various characters in the books and Greek Mythology, and get you to think about your previous reads. Feel free to take part by listing your own book choices in the comments!