I remember poring over this book as a child and how real the Greek gods and their stories seemed to me. Boy Wonder apparently feels the same, because he's clamored for this book alone the last few nights.
So does he love Zeus, the mighty thunder god who rules Mount Olympus with an iron fist? Or Poseidon, the tempestuous ocean god, who lives in a pearly undersea palace? Gray-eyed Athena, who sprang forth, fully grown, from her father's head? Or perhaps--my favorite--Artemis, the coolly radiant goddess of the hunt?
No, no, no. The Olympian Boy Wonder loves most is . . . Hera. HERA. You know, Zeus's insanely jealous wife who tortures Zeus's many paramours by turning them into cows chased endlessly by stinging gadflies and refusing to release the goddess of childbirth so they ceaselessly labor in vain? Hera, a goddess remarkable only for her cruelty and rage, who--at least by the D'Aulaires' accounting--seems to be nothing but a one-dimensional Class A bitch?
Yes, despite her glaring shortcomings, it is Hera Boy Wonder prefers above all others, and he simply DELIGHTS in her vengeful misdeeds and psychotic breaks. Although I really don't understand the fascination with this particular goddess or the implications for his future love life (or, Lord help us, any potential daughter-in-law), there's no doubt she's inspiring my boy to read. And though Hera clearly suffers from anger management issues and fails in every way to hold Zeus accountable for his near-constant infidelity, all in all, bitch keeps it interesting.
I'm thinking a small burnt offering may be in order.