Leonidas, king of Sparta, led 300 men in a doomed but heroic defence against a massive force of Persian invaders. Their bravery at the pass of Thermopylae, where Ephialtes had betrayed their position to the enemy, went down in history. How do you frame such a story for a child of five?
Filippos Mandilaras enlists the skills that have served him so well in the My Mythology series, in Leonidas, first in a new series, My History. His verse account neither wallows in horror nor skimps on the truth. Illustrator Natalia Kapatsoulia adds visual humour to accurate renditions of customs and costumes: a cat, watching Leonidas try out his tough act as a child, imagines him as a gruff dog; a lizard looks on in wonder as the troops assemble at Thermopylae. At the end of the book, an information page adds historical context and related activities engage the reader.
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