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by Demi & illustrated by Demi

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5433-5
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Marco Polo was just 17 when he left his home in Italy to travel to China with his merchant father—a man who had traveled so long and far that Marco had met him only two years before. It was another 24 years before Marco would return to Italy with a treasure of precious jewels sewn into his clothing and a lifetime’s worth of discoveries and adventures. Marco Polo and his merchant family bridged Europe and Asia long before Christopher Columbus set sail for the West. The anecdotal narrative is just right for an introduction to this remarkable voyager. Small paintings in Chinese inks brightened with gold overlays make each page a treasure—delicately, meticulously assembled, each scene identifies Marco with a red feather, and each miniature emerges from a richly detailed border. It’s disappointing that a sense of the strangeness of the world to Marco’s European eyes never quite emerges; the text and the illustrations remain somewhat detached from each other as a result. Still, there’s plenty of charm for the eyes and imagination. (author’s note, map) (Picture book/biography. 8-12)