The Tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves: A Story from the Arabian Nights

Eric A. Kimmel, Author, Will Hillenbrand, Illustrator Holiday House $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8234-1258-7

This oft-told tale is so refreshingly illustrated that it deserves this new telling. When Ali Baba discovers a cave where thieves have stashed their plunder, he takes home a modest three bags of gold. But when his rich and greedy brother attempts a grander raid, he is murdered by the thieves--who then go after Ali Baba. The story of Ali Baba's triumph over the thieves is, as ever, a great adventure, and Kimmel (The Three Princes; I Know Not What, I Know Not Where) retells it smoothly. Hillenbrand (Wicked Jack) brings to the tale a lightheartedness that should woo readers both familiar and unfamiliar with the story. Unique, mottled backdrops plus roguish caricatures artfully take the edge off the violent goings-on (beheadings, quarterings and the like). Handsome typography and skillful placement of spot art and vignettes camouflage the length of the text. A fun, breezy take on a classic. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)