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by Demi, illustrated by Demi

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5700-8
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Flashy visuals and laudable depth of research aren’t enough to rescue this poorly written account of Alexander’s youth and reign. Culminating in a dazzling, full-spread map in gold and vivid blue, the art features Demi’s signature tiny figures and intricately detailed architecture, usually seen floating in stylized isolation against generic empyrean depths. In the terse and far less memorable accompanying text, the phrasing isn’t so graceful (“He easily took [Persepolis] with its palaces, ornate architecture, sculpture, paintings, and mosaics”; “One hundred officers married Persian nobles, many of them against their will”). Moreover, Alexandria and the oasis of Siwa are paired in a way that wrongly suggests they’re in the same place, Alexander’s meeting with Diogenes is compressed into a confusing jumble of ideas and some factual errors creep in: No, Alexander never “brought most of India under his control.” More accurate, if not quite so grand, biographies of Alexander abound; consider this one only for Demi completists. (source note) (Picture book/biography. 8-10)