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The Children's Plutarch

By F. J. Gould
Yesterday's Classics

PO Box 3418
Chapel Hill, NC 27515

Subtitled "Tales of the Greeks," this unabridged republication of a Harper and Brothers 1910 book for ages nine and up contains 21 story-chapters, each about a famous Greek character. Chapters are from four to twelve pages in length, with most of them being seven to eight pages, just perfect for daily "Lunch with Plutarch" or "Traveling with Plutarch" read-aloud times.

A biographical note explains who Plutarch was (famous first century author, philosopher, and educator), his early life, education, and livelihood, and death. As noted in Mr. Gould's preface, these stories are based on Plutarch's biographies and are intended as a precursor to studying civics. Here Mr. Gould also specifies that this book is written for children who are ten to fourteen, "after which period they should be encouraged to go direct to the wise, manly, and entertaining pages of Plutarch himself."

In the 157 pages there are a total of three one-page black and white drawings by Walter Crane, and this is including the one opposite the title page. I would wish for more illustrations (by this or another illustrator) in the book. One nice feature is the inclusion of pronunciations of Greek names right in the text where you need them.

I recommend The Children's Plutarch to accompany your study of the Ancients. It is a wonderful introduction to this classic writer.

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, May 2009

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