The Wall Street Journal included THE WINGED GIRL OF KNOSSOS by Erick Berry in its article "The Best New Children's Books." They praised the book, calling it an "[I]ngenious reimagining of the myths of Theseus and Icarus with a bold, clever girl in the starring role. Brimming with adventure and historical detail..."
The full review:
For sharper, more vigorous writing, let’s revert to 1934, when the pseudonymous author Erick Berry won a Newbery Honor for her ingenious reimagining of the myths of Theseus and Icarus with a bold, clever girl in the starring role. Brimming with adventure and historical detail, “The Winged Girl of Knossos” returns to today’s stale landscape of adverbs like a gust of fresh salt air.
Inas is that girl, adolescent daughter of Daidalos, “the greatest genius of his age and people,” whose inventions make the Bronze Age kingdom of Minos, on the island of Crete, the envy of the Aegean. The intrepid Inas dives with sponge fishers for fun, vaults over bulls in the famous Cretan sport and banters in a saucy way with her elders. She and her father also experiment with winged gliders, but in secret, lest they face accusations of witchcraft, for who would “forgive a man who dared defy the laws of the gods and become a bird?”
Vivid in its descriptions of sparkling seas, rugged terrain and the great city of Knossos, with its fountains, painted walls and Labyrinth; lively with romance, palace intrigues and acts of personal daring, this wonderful, wisely plotted story by the writer behind the pen name, Allena Champlin (1892-1974), features chapter decorations drawn by the author herself from archaeological excavations in Crete (see above). One, taken from a palace fresco, shows a graceful athlete somersaulting along a bull’s back while another controls its horns; one of them might be Inas.