child reading on cushions between two bookcases
Greek myths, filled with action-packed adventures and fantastical monsters, are arguably some of the greatest stories ever told. Sure, they appeal to readers of all ages, but they are particularly fascinating for kids.

Back in 2018, we created The Demigods audio tour at the Getty Villa based on the Percy Jackson series. It’s a fun way to engage kids with an adventure through the museum. Although the museum is temporarily closed until at least the new year, kids can still take the audio tour online and use their imagination as they are guided through the museum with images from the collection.

But even while the Villa remains closed, there are many great resources to introduce or keep kids learning about Greek mythology from home. From board book series and graphic novels to card games and funny fill-ins, here are some of my favorite books and activities, including a few selected by my five-year-old daughter. These might just have kiddos itching to learn more about stories told by the Villa’s online antiquities collection.

Classic Retellings and Fun Reference Books

Book covers: Usborne Illustrated Stories from the Greek Myths; D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths; Mythopedia: Oh My Gods!
  • Usborne Illustrated Stories from the Greek Myths
    Heroes and heroines battle with terrifying monsters, mighty armies, and scheming gods in this thrilling collection of famous myths from Ancient Greece including: “The Horse,” “The Minotaur,” “Bellerophon and Pegasus,” “The Twelve Tasks of Heracles,” “Perseus and the Gorgon,” “The Odyssey,” and more myths. The book also includes a guide to the gods. (10+)
  • D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths – New Edition
    In print for over fifty years, D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths has introduced generations to Greek mythology—and continues to enthrall young readers with its engaging storytelling and many wonderful illustrations. I still have my vintage copy from when I was a kid and my daughter loves listening to the stories. (8+)
  • My First Greek Myths Series by Anna Goutzouri
    With simple text in rhyme, this new board book series will introduce the great Greek myths to young children, allowing them to enjoy the beautiful vivid illustrations and pull, slide, and push their way through the stories. (3+)
  • Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words and Wisdom from Greek and Roman Mythology
    Ancient names come to fascinating life in this lavishly illustrated gift book for mythology fans and word lovers. The brief stories in this book not only impart the subtle wisdom of these ancient tales, but bring a deeper understanding of these worlds, and our own. (10+)
  • Scholastic’s Mythlopedia Series
    Mythlopedia, a four-book series of “Look-It-Up Guides” to classical Greek mythology, takes a humorous and kid-friendly approach to a complex subject. Based on content from Grolier encyclopedias, Mythlopedia presents the superstars of Greek mythology—from mighty Olympians to slithering serpents—along with the myths that put them in the pantheon. (10+)
  • National Geographic Kids’ Weird But True Know-It-All: Greek Mythology
    Fans of Rick Riordan will find this to be a perfect companion book to dive a little deeper into the incredible stories from Greek mythology. Weird-but-true facts accompanied by lush original full-color art cover everything kids need to know about all their favorite Greek gods, heroes, monsters, quests, muses, and famous philosophers. (8+)

Fictional Books Inspired by Greek Mythology

For Younger Children (ages 4-7)

Book covers: Young Zeus; Greece! Rome! Monsters!; Beasts of Olympus: Steeds of the Gods
  • Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas
    This is the story of how young Zeus, with a little help from six monsters, five Greek gods, an enchanted she-goat, and his mother, became god of gods, master of lightning and thunder, and ruler over all. In doing so, he learned a lot about family. Who knew that having relatives could be so complicated, even for a god? (4+)
  • Greece! Rome! Monsters! by John Harris
    A favorite of my kindergartener, this Getty Publications book presents the story of twenty creepy creatures from harpies to Medusa herself to the fire-breathing Chimaera in jazzy retellings and with eye-popping illustrations. Together, the words and pictures provide children (and grown-ups!) with close encounters of the mythological kind. (5+)
  • Strong Stuff: Herakles and His Labors by John Harris
    Herakles was one of the greatest of all Greek heroes, and his exploits have been celebrated in paintings, songs, poetry, and sculpture for thousands of years. Strong Stuff, from Getty Publications, tells the amazing stories of the Stymphalian Birds (defeated by crashing cymbals), creepy King Geryon (with three heads and three bodies), the Augean Stables (don’t ask), and nine other labors that Herakles performed. (7+)
  • Little Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
    This Wizard of Oz and Greek mythology-inspired early chapter books series follows young Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis as they have big adventures on magical Mount Olympus. Another favorite of my daughter, she loves listening to these fun friendship stories. (5+)
  • Heroes in Training by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
    A chapter book series that delivers fun, adventures and a few surprises as ten-year-old Olympians go on a journey of a lifetime to discover their true identities and defeat their Titan enemies. (6+)
  • Beasts of Olympus by Lucy Coats
    This illustrated series of chapter books is set in a magical Ancient Greece where strange things still walk the Earth. The first book in the series, Beast Keeper, tells the story of Pandemonius (aka “Demon,” the half-god son of Pan) who, on his tenth birthday, is called upon to look after all the mythical creatures that belong to the stables of Olympus. (7+)

For Older Children (ages 8-10)

Books covers: Goddess Girls; Odd Gods; Pegasus
  • Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams
    Classic Greek mythology is given a contemporary twist as four best friends—Athena, Persephone, Aphrodite, and Artemis—navigate friendship, first crushes, and adventure at Mount Olympus Academy. Jane Startz, who produced Ella Enchanted and Tuck Everlasting, is teaming up with the authors to bring this book series to Netflix, though no release date has been announced. (8+)
  • Odd Gods by David Slavin
    Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets Percy Jackson in Odd Gods, a hilarious illustrated series about the most unlikely, unusual gods ever to grace the halls of Mount Olympus Middle School. (8+)
  • Zeus the Mighty by Crispin Boyer
    Greek mythology meets cute talking animals in this first adventure in a hilarious new middle-grade fiction series, starring Zeus the mighty…king of the gods…ruler of minions…HAMSTER, and the crazy crew of critters of the Mount Olympus Pet Center. (8+)
  • Pegasus by Kate O’Hearn
    When Pegasus, a mythological winged horse, crashes onto a Manhattan roof during a terrible storm, thirteen-year-old Emily must team up with a thief named Paelen, the goddess Diana, and a boy named Joel in order to return Pegasus to Mount Olympus and rescue the gods from certain death. (8+)
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
    The series that started it all. Join the adventures of Percy Jackson and his demigod friends as they fight mythological monsters and the forces of the titan lord Kronos. Riordan has written other series books inspired by mythology, including The Heroes of Olympus and Trials of Apollo. (10+)

Graphic Novels

Book covers: Zeus, King of the Gods; The Iliad; The Odyssey
  • Olympians by George O’Connor 
    These stories are action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama fantasy adventures, with monsters, romance, and huge explosions. O’Connor’s vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life, in a perfect fusion of superhero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology. (9+)
  • The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds
    Award-winning graphic artist Gareth Hinds masterfully reinterprets a story of heroism, adventure, and high action that has been told and retold for more than 2,500 years, though never quite like this. (12+)
  • The Iliad by Gareth Hinds
    In this stunning graphic novel adaptation—a thoroughly researched and artfully rendered masterwork— Hinds captures all the grim glory of Homer’s epic. (age 12+)
  • The Heroes of Olympus: The Graphic Novels Series, adapted by Robert Venditti
    A spin-off series from Percy Jackson creator, Rick Riordan—now in a stunning graphic novel form! (10+)

Digital Stories

  • Storynory: Greek Myths
    Storynory provides free audio stories that showcase imagination, good writing, and great narration. ( 7+)
  • Greeking Out
    National Geographic Kids podcast of some of the greatest Greek myths ever told, many of which are found in their new middle-grade book series, Zeus the Mighty. (8+)
  • The ODDyssey
    The ODDyssey, performed by LA-based theater group the Troubies, recounts Homer’s epic tale in five webisodes, offering a wild retelling of Odysseus’s adventure for audiences of all ages. Encounter the cyclops, witches, sirens, angry gods, and multi-snake-headed creatures, gathering on Zoom from their respective dwellings. The Troubies had my daughter laughing out loud throughout every episode and repeating the jokes long after. All family-friendly episodes are available to view on the Getty Museum’s YouTube channel. (all ages)

Activities and Games to Keep Them Busy

Greek Myths and Mazes; Zeus on the Loose; Santorini
  • Dover Coloring Books
    With an introduction and beautiful illustrations with captions, these coloring books offer a fun way to learn about Greek mythology and life and fashions in ancient Greece. (all ages)
  • National Geographic Kids’ Funny Fill-In Activity Book
    Get ready to meet the heroes and heroines of Greek legend in this action-packed mythological adventure. Based on the wildly popular National Geographic Kids magazine department, “Funny Fill-In,” this fun, interactive book challenges kids to think about words in creative ways, and to write their own wild and wacky stories. (8+)
  • Greek Myths and Mazes by Jan Bajtlik
    Discover the legendary labyrinths and mythologized mazes of ancient Greece in a beautifully designed book of paths and stories. Each turn of a page lands the reader in a new and exciting Greek classic through which to chart a path, learning along the way. (10+)
  • Mosaic Mind Bender Puzzle by Getty Museum
    This 500-piece jigsaw puzzle features details from three different mosaics in the antiquities collection at the Getty Villa Museum in Malibu, California. (10+)
  • Zeus on the Loose by Gamewright
    Catch Zeus if you can! The great Greek god has bolted from Mount Olympus and it’s up to you to nab this dashing deity. This fun card game reinforces strategic thinking and encourages math skills. (8+)
  • Santorini Game by Spin Master Games
    Build like a mortal and win like a God in the game of Santorini! Created by mathematician and educator Gordon Hamilton, Santorini is a strategy-based board game that’s exhilarating and intellectually challenging. This game is a favorite in our home, but for now, we play the beginner version without the god power cards. (8+)

Find more books and activities for kids at the Getty store.