Third in a new series, this still falls far short of what primer biographies- recognizably a need- can be. Concern over the shortcomings of a drab and colorless text style took us back to examination of Alice Dalgleish's The Columbus Story, written for the same age level, published in 1955. Where Gertrude Norman has elaborated the childhood of Christopher Columbus, of which virtually nothing is known, and cut the story of the voyages to the bone, where a surprising amount of information- old and new- is available. Alice Dalgleish has hewed to the line of source material and scholarship, and still presented the story leading up to and following through the first voyage, with a contagious sense of the excitement of discovery, the lure of the unknown, the dedication and persistence of Columbus to his goal. Miss Norman's style is almost colloquial; one feels she wants to strike a familiar note with children- ""Chris""- an unlikely nick-name in the 15th century; ""mad"" -- ""bad"" and other such words. Children learn by reach as well as by recognition and familiarity. We vote for the Dalgleish presentation.