The Funny Thing about Funny Things
Most of us have watched videos of babies cracking up over strange noises. If you look closely, many of the videos show that right under the surface, the child is trying to manage his or her fear of either an unexpected noise or something unfamiliar. The video of the baby with the mother who sneezed is a perfect example of this—first come surprise and terror, then laughter. Click the image to watch the video at Youtube in a new window.
I bring this up because I think sometimes we forget how important laughter is, not just as entertainment, but for helping us manage our fears. By laughing at something, we are not undone by it. We become masters of it.
Now, I could say that I “write funny” about mythology because I’m trying to give kids an outlet for processing the weirdness and darkness of mythological stories, but I’d be lying. The truth is, I write with humor about mythology because so much of it—to me anyway—is downright hysterical. I have an eleven-year-old kid inside of me who likes to crack up over absurdities. Just for the sheer pleasure of it.
Still, that’s not to deny that laughter or humor is a powerful tool for managing fear. Especially for kids.
Even so, an irreverent or humorous approach sometimes makes adults uncomfortable. That’s why I loved this review from a school librarian (Ms. Yinging Reads – CLICK HERE to read) that acknowledged this truth with Hades Speaks! A Guide to the Underworld by the Greek God of the Dead: “I prefer a more serious treatment of the gods (D’Aulaire, Hamilton)…but I know that most of my readers prefer the funny spin on the myths.”
Right. Let’s meet kids where they are and inspire them to learn more!
In Hades Speaks, Hades tours the reader through his dark and spooky realms. We meet unhappy ghosts, blood-sucking hags, bats that flap nightmares into your sleep, terrible tortures, and a three-headed dog with poison spit. Scary, right? But not so much if the guy telling you about it is furious that his little brother (Zeus) got the bigger piece of the pie and it’s not fair that everyone likes him better. Or if he keeps getting tricked by a not-so-smart demigod. Or if he gets his feelings hurt that his people didn’t build him enough temples.
Suddenly, Hades’s world is not just dark, but humorously dark. I hope readers enjoy their trip over the River Styx—as well as meeting Cerberus, dodging monsters, and peering into the pits at Tartaros. I also hope they end up giggling their way through it too!
Vicky has kindly agreed to give a free, signed and dedicated copy of HADES SPEAKS to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US/Canada to win - enter below: