Title of the work
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
James Riordan, The Twelve Labours of Hercules. London: Frances Lincoln Limited, 1997, 64 pp.
Crossover (Ages 8 and up)
Courtesy of Quarto Publishing Group UK.
Author of the Entry:
Allison Rosenblum, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, email@example.com
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, firstname.lastname@example.org
, b. 1961
Christina Balit was born in the UK, but spent most of her childhood in the Middle East. She studied at the Chelsea School of Art and Royal College of Art. Her distinctive style of illustrations is founded on the use of watercolours. Balit’s work covers a range of mythological traditions including Greek, Roman, Biblical, and Babylonian. Regarding classical myth specifically, Balit has written The Scarab’s Secret, Atlantis: The Legend of a Lost City, introduction by Geoffrey Ashe, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2000 and Escape from Pompeii, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2003. As well as illustrating James Riordan, The Twelve Labors of Hercules, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997. She has also illustrated books of fairy tale, the solar system and tales from the Bible. Christina is the winner of The English Association’s 4–11 Award for the Best Children’s Illustrated Book of 2001, Key Stage 2 Non Fiction Illustration Award in 2002 for The Kingdom of the Sun and UK Reading Association Award for Ishtad & Tammuz among other awards.
She says of her work "My need to make something from nothing is the reason my blood runs, and I need to keep it thick. I read somewhere that Jacques-Yves Cousteau said "If we didn't die, we would not appreciate life as we do. I don't fear dying, but I can't imagine how people live if they don't 'make' things." (Source here, accessed: August 7, 2018).
Official website (accessed: July 4, 2018).
barefootbooks.com (accessed: July 4, 2018).
biography.jrank.org (accessed: February 12, 2021).
Bio prepared by Allison Rosenblum, Bar-Ilan University, email@example.com and Robin Diver, University of Birmingham, RSD253@student.bham.ac.uk and Ayelet Peer, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org and Constantine Christoforou, University of Roehampton, email@example.com
, 1936 - 2012
Riordan was born in Portsmouth, England, graduated from the University of Birmingham, and taught at the London Institute of Education before becoming a lecturer at Bradford University, and then head of the Russian Department at the University of Surrey. He wrote an autobiography, children’s novels, two non-fiction novels, children’s anthologies, and worked as an editor and translator. He also regularly reviewed children's books for The Times. Among his books are: Sweet Clarinet, which won the NASEN award in 1999, and Match of Death, which won the South Lanarkshire Book Award in 2004.
Profile at amazon.com (accessed: January 17, 2018)
Bio prepared by Allison Rosenblum, Bar-Ilan University, firstname.lastname@example.org
A picture book retelling of the story of Hercules’ life and the twelve labors he performed, aimed at younger readers and readers interested in visual storytelling. Text is accompanied by opulent pictures.
The book begins with an author’s note stating Hercules was known by both the Greek and Roman names (Hercules/Herakles), and that because of his success with every single task, we have adopted the term “herculean” to refer to an exceptionally difficult task.
Colorful illustrations with a Middle Eastern feel are on every page. Hercules’ brute strength is emphasized in this book (both in the text and illustrations), not his own attitude about his strength. There are 14 chapters corresponding to different periods of Hercules’ life and the twelve labors, and a map at the end of where each labor took place.