I read Persephone to 1st graders without showing any illustrations, only previewing some of the vocabulary by using a prop–actual pomegranate seeds, and allowing them to picture the underwolrd and Persephone herself.
The following lesson I told the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, again using some props such as thread to show how Ariadne helped Theseus remember his way out of the labyrinth, and of course, showed them a picture of a labyrinth as well as a picture of a bull. Then it was up to them! They visualized the story as a way to strengthen and practice visualizing, which is one way readers comprehend a longer, more complex story.
Here is what they came up with for Theseus and the Minotaur: