The lessons of three tales unfold plainly without any preaching. In the first, Aladdin rises from his humble beginnings by a magical opportunity that is tempered by his generosity and good nature. In the second, a serpent Queen sacrifices herself so a king can live and knowledge can be passed on. In the last, the mysteries of a lost city are revealed. The thrilling voice of a master storyteller resounds throughout these tales. Lattimore (Punga, 1993, etc.) conveys her affection for the material in unadorned prose suffused with tenderness and offers readers a refreshing trip through ancient lands. Offsetting the text-heavy pages are captivating illustrations. Soaked in the details and ornamentation of a remote world, they are colorful yet retain a moodiness that deepens the exotic atmosphere.