Almost all boys and girls like fairy tales they appeal to the imaginative side of the child's nature. We cannot make reading
effective as a means of education unless we make it a pleasure as well: we must recognise the activity of the imagination in childhood.
Myths are,closely akin to fairy tales, and nothing in the whole field of literature can so well serve our purpose. The myths of the Greeks and Romans are especially valuable because they have become an inseparable part of art and literature. They have a historical value, too, in conveying to the reader some idea of the thoughts and habits of the beauty-loving people with whom they originatedm
In this little book I have gathered together some of the most pleasing of these myths, and have told them in simple, fairy-tale style, without any attempt to explain their origin, or to point a moral. If they please and interest the child, they will fulfil their purpose.
I have avoided the use of an undue number of proper names,—those stumbling-blocks in the pathway of a young reader. Just enough have been given to hold the reader's interest and to make him familiar with the chief characters in the mythical play,—characters that he will meet again and again in literature and art. The pronouncing list at the end of the book includes all these names, and with a little help here and there from the teacher they need cause the pupil no difficulty.
Following many of the stories there are poems bearing directly on the subjects. These have been selected with the utmost care. They are designed not merely to introduce the children to some of our greatest authors, but also to cultivate a taste for what is purest and best in literatures
The illustrations are intended to serve an educative purpose similar to that of the poems. They are reproductions of famous paintings and sculptures by the foremost artists of all ages, and it is hoped that they may awaken the true artistic sense.
The poems by Tennyson are printed by permission of Messrs Macmillan & Co., Ltd.; and "The Wonderful World" by permission of Mr John Lane. Thanks are also due to the Rotary Photographic Co., Ltd., London, for permission to reproduce the frontispiece and the illustrations facing pages 20, 3o, and 216 from their exquisite carbon prints, of which they supply an admirable variety,
G. H. K.,