Wednesday 16 September 2020

The Roman Gods, Emperor and Dormice

The Romans Gods, Emperors and Dormice written and illustrated by Marcia Williams (Walker Books) PB RRP $17.99 ISBN 978 1 406384048

 Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

 Marcia Williams is an author/illustrator whose retellings of history are both informative and entertaining. Her use of comic-strip style illustrations enhances the text as we journey through Ancient Rome along with Dormice.

 In this book, we start at the dawn of time when the world was just one big muddle. There was no day, nor night and the land, sea and sky swirled in one chaotic mass until one particular god decided to sort the mess out. All the other gods were happy with this, except for Prometheus who was lonely so he created human friends.


There are ten chapters of gods and goddesses that showcase the rise and fall of Ancient Rome. The reader is introduced to gods whose names they may have heard but don’t know the story behind. Such as Juno, Mars, Vulcan, Venus, Minerva, Apollo, Diana, Mercury, Vesta, Ceres, Neptune. We meet Romulus and Remus, the two brothers who founded Rome. They built two cities, one each on neighbouring hills. As the book unfolds, Rome grows into a vast empire stronger and bigger than any other until it becomes too big to manage for any one god. Many of the landmarks are still able to be visited today in Rome.

This terrific book explains Ancient Rome with fascinating facts and sensational stories in each chapter. It is a great read for middle grade children. The back of the book features ten terrific things you didn’t know about the Romans and there is a glossary that alphabetically explains all things Roman. This well- written book about the Romans is fascinating and there are more books in this series to seek out and read.

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