THE SEVEN VOYAGES OF SINBAD THE SAILOR

A splendiferous new presentation of an ageless yarn, replete with disasters, exotic lands, sumptuous palaces, fortunes lost and won back, and horrible monsters: ``We saw . . . a giant-like creature . . . his lower lip hung down like a camel's over his chest, his ears flopped over his shoulders like an elephant's, and his fingernails were like a lion's claws. I nearly passed out at the sight of him.'' Once Yeoman (also with Blake, The Singing Tortoise, 1994, etc.), through Sinbad, begins to weave his storyteller's spell, readers will want to plunge through right to the end (although a ribbon is bound into the book, should there be a need to mark a stopping point). The text has been edited for ease and fluency; the grandeur of older renditions has been preserved while long speeches and flowery rhetoric have been cut down. In a plethora of full-color and black-and-white watercolor wash illustrations that range from elaborate full-page compositions to tiny, almost abstract scribbles, Blake places gesticulating figures into situations that seem more exciting than dangerous. A fine design with a generous use of white space gives this volume the look and feel of the classic it is. (Folklore. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-689-81368-6

Page Count: 119

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1997

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A LONG WALK TO WATER

BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Salva Dut is 11 years old when war raging in the Sudan separates him from his family. To avoid the conflict, he walks for years with other refugees, seeking sanctuary and scarce food and water. Park simply yet convincingly depicts the chaos of war and an unforgiving landscape as they expose Salva to cruelties both natural and man-made. The lessons Salva remembers from his family keep him from despair during harsh times in refugee camps and enable him, as a young man, to begin a new life in America. As Salva’s story unfolds, readers also learn about another Sudanese youth, Nya, and how these two stories connect contributes to the satisfying conclusion. This story is told as fiction, but it is based on real-life experiences of one of the “Lost Boys” of the Sudan. Salva and Nya’s compelling voices lift their narrative out of the “issue” of the Sudanese War, and only occasionally does the explanation of necessary context intrude in the storytelling. Salva’s heroism and the truth that water is a source of both conflict and reconciliation receive equal, crystal-clear emphasis in this heartfelt account. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-25127-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2010

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The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories.

PERCY JACKSON'S GREEK GODS

Percy Jackson takes a break from adventuring to serve up the Greek gods like flapjacks at a church breakfast.

Percy is on form as he debriefs readers concerning Chaos, Gaea, Ouranos and Pontus, Dionysus, Ariadne and Persephone, all in his dude’s patter: “He’d forgotten how beautiful Gaea could be when she wasn’t all yelling up in his face.” Here they are, all 12 Olympians, plus many various offspring and associates: the gold standard of dysfunctional families, whom Percy plays like a lute, sometimes lyrically, sometimes with a more sardonic air. Percy’s gift, which is no great secret, is to breathe new life into the gods. Closest attention is paid to the Olympians, but Riordan has a sure touch when it comes to fitting much into a small space—as does Rocco’s artwork, which smokes and writhes on the page as if hit by lightning—so readers will also meet Makaria, “goddess of blessed peaceful deaths,” and the Theban Teiresias, who accidentally sees Athena bathing. She blinds him but also gives him the ability to understand the language of birds. The atmosphere crackles and then dissolves, again and again: “He could even send the Furies after living people if they committed a truly horrific crime—like killing a family member, desecrating a temple, or singing Journey songs on karaoke night.”

The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories. (Mythology. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-8364-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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