I knew in general about the sunken Atlantis, but truth be told, I did not really know the story behind it until I read Atlantis: The Legend of a Lost City by Christina Balit.
It all began when Poseidon, god of the sea, fell madly in love with a woman named Cleito, who lived on an island. They marry and Poseidon transforms the island to a paradise, which he calls Atlantis. Cleito and Poseidon have five sets of twin sons who he sets to rule. For a long time Atlantis prospers and the people live good lives. But over time they forget their promise to live in peace. Ambition and the lust for power lead to warfare. When Poseidon sees how the humans are destroying the paradise he created for them, he sends a storm so powerful that the entire island sinks to the bottom of the sea.
The retelling of this myth from Plato is a wonderful read-aloud or read-on- your-own for older children. But the art really steals the show. The illustrations are vibrant and filled with all sorts of details in bold colorful spreads that both capture and extend the text. I lingered over this book for several days and got an overdue notice from the library before I returned it!!
There is also a wonderful endnote by British historian Geoffrey Ashe who discusses some of the theories associated with the myth. For children fascinated by Greek mythology, this one is a must.