I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes: Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse is a middle grade novel written by Stella Tarakson and illustrated by Nick Roberts.
Tim Baker is a fairly typical elementary school boy, but some of the kids at school tease him by calling him Cinderella because he has to clean his house after school to help his widowed mother. One day, while cleaning up, Tim knocks over an ancient vase- releasing Hercules into the living room. Yes, that Hercules!
Hercules is friendly, and wants to help Tim with his chores. This sounds great, right? A strong hero should be just what Tim need! Unfortunately, Hercules thinks the solutions to his famous Labors will also work for simple household chores. This makes a huge mess every time, and since Tim is the only one who can see Hercules, guess who gets blamed for the messes? Hercules is kindhearted, and he encourages Tim to stand up to a schoolyard bully.
The book is sprinkled with hilarious illustrations. Tim looks like a regular kid, but Hercules looks like a black-figure design from a vase. We all thought the illustrations were very funny, and they were a nice complement to the story.
I read this book with my three girls who are in the fourth and second grades at school. They absolutely loved this book. My oldest girl enjoys reading mythology stories, and she often knew what Hercules was going to do in advance. My twins are not as familiar with mythology, but they cackled with laughter just as loudly as their big sister.
I would absolutely recommend Gormless Gods and Hapless Heroes: Tim Baker and the Ancient Curse. The story ends on quite a cliffhanger; this appears to be the first book in a series, and we are all excited to find out what is going to happen to Tim and Hercules next! Well done, Stella Tarakson!