Classics for Kids: Heracles' 12 Great Labours

Classics for Kids: Heracles' 12 Great Labours


We did it!

On 22nd Dec 2014 we successfully raised £3,085 of £3,000 target with 60 supporters in 28 days

New stretch target

We’ve reached our target and we THANK YOU for your amazing support! All funds raised above the target will go towards extra effort not only to promote and sell Heracles but to organise a Children’s Literature Festival (follow us on Facebook for updates!).

      We have new projects in the pipeline and are always open to your suggestions on what foreign children’s books you would like to see published in English. Your opinions are important to us so please get in touch with your ideas (email Our backers (YOU) will be able to suggest which foreign children's book they would like to see published in English... either in hard copy or in digital format.

                                          Thank you again!

Kids into Classics!

Our Aim for Heracles

We are St James's Publishing Ltd, aka St Jim’s Press, a small, new independent publisher with its first book! We've recruited Heracles to encourage Kids into the Classics, as fun. And with your help we aim to raise fun-ding of £3,000, which will be used to produce digital animated versions of his Labours and hard copy - to promote to schools and through community forums, as well as through the newly created Society of Heracles’ Friends (See right below!).

About Our Project/Organisation

St James's Publishing Ltd (imprint: St Jim’s Press) is a small independent publisher set up at the beginning of 2014 in London by Karina Karmenian and Struan Simpson, to translate into English and to publish children’s authors from other countries. In this project we have forged a real Greek Anglo-Russian cultural bond, bringing Heracles from Ancient Greece to modern London via Moscow! As this is our first book its fate is critical for our overall aims!

 The Heracles' project team consists of Serge Sedoff and Melanie Moore (author and translator, respectively), Liz Kerans (hi-tech production chief), Tanya Kormer and Laura Sylvester (Russian and English designers). Karina runs a Russian Children's World project and a Children's Library at Pushkin House. Struan is both writer and editor, well-versed in several cultures, in this case in both Russian and Greek. It is their ambition to become a creative force in children's literature: this is the opening shot!

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 What’s the book like?

Each new generation deserves to be amused, shocked, fascinated, entertained and educated by the chroniclers, poets and sophists of both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome - to hear them telling and retelling anecdotes of larger than life characters, mortal or otherwise, firmly embedded as heroes or villains in the popular imaginations of the day.

Contemporary superheroes are but reincarnations of ancient favourites. Heracles is such a one, whose persona is assumed time and again, but never capturing the true awfulness of this Ancient Greek original. He is a real delinquent made good!

His tale is a wonderful allegory of human complexity, of crime, punishment and restitution: of how lateral thinking and luck can overcome apparently insurmountable obstacles. These eternal truths are re-told with irony and wit, reinforcing the integrity of the ancient chroniclers of the Heroic Age and offering a perfect stepping stone into the Classics for a lifetime of fascination, fun and frustration within the cradle of Western civilization!

Re-chronicled by Serge Sedoff for 9-14 year-olds, designed, translated and edited by an Anglo-Russian team of like-minded and talented individuals, and initially funded by the Institute of Translation in Moscow, these tales range from the jolly to the gruesome.

This is a coherent, proper start-to-finish, cause-and-effect tale of Heracles, from the glint in Zeus’ eye, through his childhood, youth and apotheosis via 12 Great Labours and the Gigantomachy: not a series of truncated incidents! Bright and lively, Heracles has more than sixty line-drawings graphically illustrating his twelve adventures, a full cast of characters, mythological context notes and a map tracing his farthest voyages (ISBN: 9780992892500 / 280mm x 210mm / 128pp / Hardback).

Your support of this exciting book will make a real contribution to the re-ignition of youthful engagement with the Classical world.

When we get the project fully funded and supported by the would-be Friends of Heracles,  the majority of the first print run will go to them, our backers, for their own reading (i.e., their kids!) and wider dissemination. Marketing and sales… bookshops... websites…

We are offering books to our backers, on a scale related to their donation - free hard copies, e-books and a standing invitation to all associated events about which they shall be informed. All backers donating above £50 will be listed by name on a dedicated page in all editions, and all backers donating  £100+ will get their logo printed in the book.

Why are we crowdfunding?

For us as a fledgeling company, Crowdfunder promises a solution to the unpredictable outcome of high print and distribution costs and enables us to invest resources in creative marketing initiatives aimed at parents, teachers and kids and future books. Whatever the outcome, crowdfunding will provide timely feedback to our ideas and the stimulus to keep our own network tuned-in.

Having tackled the majority of publishing challenges: translation to yet another culture; design; editing; organising printers; deciding print runs; distribution and marketing strategies, our real challenge is to implement Heracles' promotion in various media and in schools, thus stimulating our early youth to keep digging into the Classics!

 Society of Heracles’ Friends

Implementation of Heracles’ plans demands the instant birth (by Zeus!) of a Society of Heracles’ Friends. Join the Society by backing the publication of the paper and versions of this witty work, and be kept abreast of E-book offers and new developments. Heracles’ friends at present include:

 Athens of the North

Classics at Clare, University of Cambridge

Hellenic Centre, London

Institute of Translation, Moscow

Pushkin House, Russian Children’s Library, London,

Russian Children’s World, London

Samokat Publishing, Moscow


  Join us, join them. Be part of the crowd!

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