THE MILLION STORIES OF MARCO POLO by Michael J. Rosen

THE MILLION STORIES OF MARCO POLO

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

As a scribe works, a child visits him, curious to hear the stories he has transcribed about Marco Polo.

Legendary traveler and explorer Marco Polo left his home in Venice, Italy, at the age of 17 only to return 27 years later, aged 44. Following his return he was captured and spent a year in prison due to his participation in the battles between Venice and Genoa. It was during this time that he dictated his memoirs to a fellow prisoner and scribe. Many have doubted the veracity and accuracy of his adventures. In this account Rosen sidesteps the debate by focusing more on impressions and vignettes than on actual stories. He does this in the form of a conversation that takes place between a visiting child and a scribe. Unfortunately, the device feels contrived and unconvincing, and the few facts learned will leave readers with more questions than answers. Using a combination of acrylic paint and airbrushing, Pritelli’s textured and evocative artwork is a visual delight. At times, though, there seems to be a disconnect between art and text. For example, a beautiful pastoral scene of horses in a meadow with a snow-capped mountain in the background bears no connection with anything in the text, which describes “fountains of black oil spewing from the ground!” The child’s dialogue is printed in a thin, sans serif type that occasionally blends into the backgrounds.

Readers looking to learn about Marco Polo will do better looking elsewhere. (map, foreword, notes) (Informational picture book. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-56846-290-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2016




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