The Incredible Voyage of Ulysses

Bimba Landmann, Text by (Art/Photo Books), Bimba Landmann, Illustrator . Getty Publications $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-60606-012-4

With narrative restraint and illustrative power, Landmann's (I Am Marc Chagall ) retelling of Homer's Odyssey follows Ulysses as he battles frightening creatures and endures the treachery of the gods while sailing home to Ithaca, where his wife, Penelope, fends off suitors. Even when the nymph Calypso offers Ulysses the chance to live forever—“Penelope will soon be old/ And you, at her side, just a weak man”—he refuses to abandon his journey. “Immortality. To live forever./ Life is dear to man because death exists./ No.” Landmann's large-format spreads are divided into multiple panels, condensing the events of the sprawling epic into successive stage sets of action, the reader's eye guided across the pages by tiny arrows. At moments of heightened tension—the loosing of the winds of Aeolus, the bloody defeat of the suitors—the action breaks out to fill a double-page spread. The paintings, worked with swift, bold strokes, combine the solemn stiffness of Greek statuary with the prophetic sweep of William Blake's imaginings. It's a book that should be in every young adventurer's library. Ages 9–12. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Children's
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