Book of the Month: So You Think You've Got It Bad? A Kid's Life in Ancient Greece
So You Think You’ve Got it Bad? A Kid’s Life in Ancient Greece by Chae Strathie and Marisa Morea is a hilarious new book published in collaboration with Nosy Crow and The British Museum.
In this edition, readers are introduced to life in Ancient Greece in an entertaining and relatable way. Each chapter is colour-coded and covers a separate theme including Clothes and Hairstyles, Family Life, Myths & Legends. Lively, colourful illustrations accompany the text throughout, helping to bring these themes to life. Readers will learn lots of fun, interesting and often disgusting facts about life in Ancient Greece. For example: "clothes in Ancient Greece were often dyed bright colours. But how did they get the colours? Why, SNAILS OF COURSE!" Purple was particularly prized and came from snails and insect larvae! Bleurgh!
Suitable for readers aged 7-10 years old, this book is a fantastic way to introduce children to the topic of Ancient Greece, either at home or in the classroom.
Why did you start writing this book?
I began writing this book after being contacted by a fantastic non-fiction editor (and now author) called Katherine Halligan at Nosy Crow. They were collaborating with the British Museum on a new series called So You Think You’ve Got It Bad: A Kid’s Life in…, which looked at historical periods from a child’s perspective. I’d worked with Katherine in the past and she knew I had a background in children’s books and journalism and thought that would be a good combination when it came to researching and writing these books. When she got in touch I was chuffed to bits to be asked to work on something so interesting. It’s my first foray into non-fiction and I couldn’t be happier that it’s this series.
What research did you do?
I used multiple sources. Of course, books provided a wealth of information. I used a combination of academic texts and popular history books. I also searched for facts online, in particular from museum and university sites. Using the internet can obviously be fraught with difficulty and potential pitfalls, so when I found an interesting fact online I would store it in a separate file and then carry out deeper research to see if it could be corroborated by reliable sources. I was also in the fortunate (if slightly terrifying!) position that I knew the text would be thoroughly checked by leading experts from the British Museum so there was no chance inaccurate information or ‘dodgy’ facts would make it through.
What was your favourite fact you discovered about ancient Greece?
My favourite fact was that the ancient Greeks used teams of squirrels to pull tiny carts full of olives from their kitchens to their living areas. Only joking. That never happened (as far as I know). I think my favourite facts were slightly gruesome or weird – that the Spartans ate soup made from pigs legs and blood, for instance. I believe Heinz are planning to launch a tinned version soon. Or that Pythagoras believed beans had souls, which gives the term ‘soul food’ a whole new meaning. A lot of very interesting facts weren’t really suitable for kids, so sadly they’ll just have to wait until they’re older to find out. . .