THE FOOLING OF KING ALEXANDER by Mervyn Skipper

THE FOOLING OF KING ALEXANDER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The far-reigning king who is deterred by a young boy from extending his conquests to China is not precisely Alexander the Great and it's misleading in various ways to state that ""the kings of Persia, Media, India, and Brunei are all descended from him""; but if you're not bothered by the historical anomalies, this is a very fetching story handsomely illustrated. There's wit in the telling throughout, surprising cleverness in the little boy's trick: he loads a junk with six old men ""whose teeth had all dropped out"" and six old women ""whose backs were bent like water wheels,"" two full-grown fruit trees (one is distractingly--for American children--called a jujube tree), and a cargo of small and rusty nails; when the Junk reaches Alexander and he inquires the distance to China, the aged passengers pretend that they left-home as youths, that the great trees have grown from seeds and the needles have rusted from bars of iron during their voyage. Questionable history but an unquestioned success as a story, and some imaginatively patterned images--especially Alexander's advancing army, a counterpoint of red, pink, mauve and blue rectangles, and the cross-section of the brown boat a tremor with orange and white needles like little fish.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1967
Publisher: Atheneum