We were lucky enough to be invited along to the book launch for the first title in the new Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes series: Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse. The team at Sweet Cherry Publishing provided us with lots of delicious Greek canapes and tasty mythological inspired drinks. It also meant we got to have a sneak peek at the book before its release, and we were eager to get our hands on a copy!
Poor Tim has it tough at the moment, his mum works long hours and his dad is no longer with them. He has to help out around the house a lot, so gets teased at school, and one particular boy likes to call him Cinderella.
He’s doing the dusting after school one day when he accidentally drops an antique Greek vase, he’s absolutely devastated as he knows it’s very old and worth a lot of money. But as he’s wondering if he can stick it back together he realises he’s no longer alone in the house… Imagine turning around to find Hercules standing in your living room! Of course, Hercules wants to help Tim, he’s been trapped in the vase for so long and has been missing his own family so immediately wants to do whatever he can to assist Tim with the house work.
It doesn’t take long for Hercules to cause chaos, he doesn’t know his own strength, and some of his ideas are a little far-fetched! Tim also realises that no one else can see Hercules, which is very problematic when he accidentally burns the garden, and when he follows Tim to school but gets so hungry he helps himself to everyone’s lunch!
This is a brilliant story for middle grade readers. Although it’s full of laughs and cringe-worthy antics, there are also some very touching moments as both Tim and Hercules can understand how each other is missing their family and feeling lonely. Is Hercules real or is he just an imaginary friend? I think that’s where children and their parents’ opinions might differ!
The book is accompanied by excellent black and white illustrations that mix cartoon style drawings with traditional Greek art work, so you really feel like Hercules fell right off the vase. The story isn’t too long and is set in manageable chapters. As the story is narrated by Tim, boys are sure to enjoy this one, but the fun and warmth of this book will appeal to everyone. It’s also a great way to introduce children to Greek mythology and may well have them asking to hear more about Zeus, Hera and all the other Gods and Goddesses.
Stay tuned for our catch up with the author, Stella Tarakson, coming next week! The proof is in the pudding (or nectar and ambrosia in this case) Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse is well worth a read!