McMullan (I Stink!) presents a playful take on fractured Greek myths in this first installment of the Myth-O-Mania series. Narrator Hades accuses his younger brother, Zeus, of being a "myth-o-maniac (That's old-Greek–speak for 'liar.')" and here "[sets] the record straight." He explains how he and Zeus, along with their siblings Hera, Poseidon, Hestia and Demeter, move into the Mount Olympus palace of their Titan father and "Ruler of the Universe," Cronus, whom they presumed dead. But when Cronus and his warriors storm the mount to regain control, the young gods challenge them to a series of games—the prize: Mount Olympus. With the help of their uncles (including the Cyclopes) the crew defeats Cronus to win the Olympic games. Hades characterizes Zeus as dimwitted and cowardly (and even less athletic). Other fun twists abound: Hades describes how he plots to usurp a "Bucket o'Bolts" from the lava-spitting monster, Typhon, which comes into Zeus's possession—hence the legendary thunderbolts that Zeus hurls from the heavens. How does Hades end up, well, you know? The siblings play a game of poker to determine the new CEO (Chairgod of Everybody on Olympus), Zeus cheats to claim the title, and Hades then proclaims himself Ruler of the Underworld. McMullan's pun-filled narrative brims with clever myths of her own and sheds wry light on classic lore; and there's more—the second episode, Phone Home, Persephone!
is due out simultaneously. Ages 8-12. (Aug.)