Westward with Columbus

John Dyson, Author, Greg Rhul, Illustrator, Ken Marschall, Illustrator
John Dyson, Author, Greg Rhul, Illustrator, Ken Marschall, Illustrator Scholastic $15.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-590-43846-9
Paperback - 64 pages - 978-0-590-43847-6
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A fictionalized account of Columbus's voyage featuring one of the ship's boys is sandwiched rather jarringly in the middle of a brief discussion of a modern-day expedition aboard a replica of the Nina. Just when curiosity is piqued by the contemporary proceedings, the text swerves abruptly to ``Spain, May 23, 1492.'' While the book incorporates abundant information into both its factual and fictitious segments, the format and design seem helter-skelter; the work ultimately attempts too much and succeeds only in confusing the reader. Even the illustrations are an uneasy amalgam of styles: many spreads contain Christopher's excellent photographs, historical drawings and--apparently uncredited--original drawings, charts and maps. Occasional sidebars add to the jumble. It appears that a unique, potentially intriguing account of a stalwart band trying to relive Columbus's historic journey has been sacrificed for yet another fictitious treatment. A better novelization for this age group is Miriam Schlein's recent I Sailed with Columbus . Ages 8-12. (Dec.)
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