"My First Mythology" is a collection of short novels suitable for children aged 6/7. Each title presents a classic myth in a format that is short and easy-to-understand. Rights have been sold for 5 languages.
How do you introduce myths and legends to children and at the same time introduce them to reading with the goal of getting them to become experienced readers? Realizing that were few or no educational materials to teach mythology to primary school students, Hélène Kerillis created a solution: a series of 22 illustrated short novels each of a different classical myth. Starting with the birth of Zeus moving on to the story of the return of Odysseus, then Trojan War, and Hercules and his bewitched horses. "My First Mythology" tells these stories through exciting, rich, meaningful narratives.
To make reading these tales both informative and fun, each book has a short quiz to see how well the reader has understood what they have read, as well as back matter to help the reader discover all the secrets of the myths. Hélène Kerillis’ texts are illustrated by Grégoire Vallancien whose images are metaphorical, fantastic, comic or realistic depending on the legend. The collection is also suitable for students with learning difficulties or who are neurodivergent.
"It was an immediate success since it was the first mythology collection targeted at this age group that was accepted by teachers, parents and children. It has been featured in the press and in bookstores," explains Bernadette Cossart, head of foreign rights at Éditions Hatier. 410,000 copies have been sold in France since its launch in 2015.
"My first mythology" also quickly attracted the attention of foreign publishers. "What they really like is the fact that these are novels for early readers, and are, at the same time, educational which means children are learning without getting the impression that they are being taught," explains Bernadette Cossart. "Another plus is the large number of titles in the series. This shows a proven success in France, and that the publisher's believes in the collection. It also allows foreign publishers the opportunity to select the myths that are best-known in their territory."
To date, the rights have been sold in Mexico, Italy, Korea and Greece (in Greek and English for the tourist market).