Tales from the Arabian Nights: Stories of Adventure, Magic, Love, and Betrayal

Donna Jo Napoli, illus. by Christina Balit. National Geographic, $24.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-4263-2540-3
Napoli and Balit follow their collections of Egyptian, Greek, and Norse myth with a selection of the stories recounted by Scheherazade, a girl “subject to the whims of a man so deeply wounded his ego wobbles with every step,” as Napoli writes in her introduction. Brief sidebars provide context and insight into the stories: a discussion titled “Horses in History” accompanies Sindbad the sailor’s fourth voyage, and an overview of the use of rugs joins “The Tale of Prince Hussain and the Magic Carpet.” Balit’s ornate tableaus feature fluid forms and gold accents, helping evoke the drama and mystery of the tales. The supplemental educational content, including a map of the ancient Arab world and notes on Napoli’s approach to her skilled retellings, allows for a deeper understanding of these stories and their significance within a larger cultural context. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/17/2016
Release date: 10/25/2016
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 208 pages - 978-1-4263-2541-0
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