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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus (Picture Book Biographies) (Picture Book Biography) Paperback – March 1, 1992

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3-- Adler includes all the important information about this explorer's early life and later achievements, but his writing style is a bit drier than in the other series entries. He mentions that Columbus's men were cruel to the Indians in his absence and consequently were killed, but otherwise does not convey much sense of the danger involved in the voyages or give many clues to Columbus's character or personality. The Wallners' illustrations, as in the earlier biographies, are framed watercolors that surround the text. They offer a delightful look at Renaissance dress and housing and add immeasurably to the spare text. A list of important dates is appended, and a map of the first voyage is included. Both the text and the illustrations are superior to Robert Young's Christopher Columbus (Silver Pr, 1990), which relies heavily on fictionalized dialogue. There are many books about Columbus appearing at this time, but this title fills the bill for those looking for an attractive picture book presentation of the basic facts. --Jean H. Zimmerman, Willett School, South River, NJ
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

David Abraham Adler (born April 10, 1947) is the author of nearly 200 books for children and young adults, most notably the Cam Jansen mystery series, the "Picture Book of..." series, and several acclaimed works about the Holocaust for young readers. Adler was born in New York City, New York. He graduated from Queens College in 1968 with a bachelor's degree in economics and education. For the next nine years, he worked as a mathematics teacher for the New York City Board of Education, while taking classes towards a master's degree in marketing, a degree he was awarded by New York University in 1971. In that same year, a question from his then-three-year-old nephew inspired Adler to write his first story, A Little at a Time, subsequently published by Random House in 1976. Adler's next project, a series of math books, drew on his experience as a math teacher. In 1977, he created his most famous character, Cam Jansen, originally featured in Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds, which was published that year. Adler married psychologist Renee Hamada in 1973, and their first child, Michael, was born in 1977. By that time Adler had taken a break from teaching and, while his wife continued her work, he stayed home, took care of Michael, and began a full-time writing career. Adler has three children and one grandson. He lives in Woodmere, New York.

Alexandra Wallner has written and illustrated a number of books about famous literary and historical figures, including An Alcott Family Christmas and Beatrix Potter. She lives in Maine with her husband, illustrator John Wallner.


John Wallner has illustrated many titles in David A. Adler's Picture Book Biography series. He lives in Maine.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Book Biographies
  • Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; Reprint edition (March 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082340949X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823409495
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.2 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By The Invisible Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book with nice artwork that is a bit dry. I've included the first three paragraphs for your perusal so you can get the gist of the book's style.

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy.
His parents were Susanna and Domenico Colombo. Do-
menico was a master weaver. Susanna was the daughter
of a weaver.

Genoa is at the shore of the Ligurian Sea, part of the
Mediterranean. When Christopher and others looked out
over the water, they saw no end to it.

Christopher was a tall boy with a thin face and freckles.
He worked in his father's shop, but he dreamed of going to sea.

While the downside of the book is it's stark prose and a lack of smooth transitions in places, on the plus side it has nice artwork and covers many details that other little kid books don't. For example, it talks about how important Christopher's brother, Bartholomew, was when it came for inquiring after funds for the expedition. He was the one who spoke to the Kings and Queens of England and France - not Christopher. In addition, the author discusses how Christopher was once shipwrecked, and how he ran a shop with Bartholomew that provided books and maps for navigators.

In a general sense, this book builds a picture of Christopher Columbus as a man who didn't give up when faced with delays and difficulties. After reading and discussing the book, children should be left with the impression that Christopher's trip wasn't a sudden and whimsical affair and that he acquired years of sailing experience and struggled through many setbacks before being able to begin his great adventure. I, personally, like the emphasis on Columbus' struggle as it demonstrates that persistence works.
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Format: Paperback
The story presented here is not surprising, as it recounts the traditional, accepted tale of Columbus' journey. It focuses on Columbus as a person, his desires, struggles, and eventual "success."

Unfortunately, this kind of a focus is very limiting. The bias embedded in the book treats the indigenous people as mute, subservient, nameless creatures who are happy to invite the invaders onto their land. Adler even relegates them to the status of mere goods saying something along the lines of, "On his journey back to spain, Columbus brought back with him pineapples, spices, and a few Indians." Those Indians, if you look at Columbus' own words, were slaves:

"Thursday, October 11, 1492

It appears to me, that the people are ingenious, and would be good servants and I am of opinion that they would very readily become Christians, as they appear to have no religion. They very quickly learn such words as are spoken to them. If it please our Lord, I intend at my return to carry home six of them to your Highnesses, that they may learn our language."

"October 14, 1492

...these people are very unskilled in arms. Your Highnesses will see this for yourselves when I bring you the seven that I have taken. After they learn our languages I shall return them, unless Your Highnesses order that the entire population be taken to Castille, or held captive here. With 50 men you could subject everyone and make them do what you wished"

Adler's story also fails to mention that Columbus himself was responsible for a tribute system that resulted in the death and mutilation of thousands of Taino.
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4 Comments 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book with nice artwork that unfortunately is a bit dry. I've included the first three paragraphs for your perusal so you can get the gist of the book's style.

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy.

His parents wee Susanna and Domenico Colombo. Do-

menico was a master weaver. Susanna was the daughter

of a weaver.

Genoa is at the shore of the Ligurian Sea, part of the

Mediterranean. When Christopher and others looked out

over the water, they saw no end to it.

Christopher was a tall boy with a thin face and freckles.

He worked in his father's shop, but he dreamed of going to sea.

While the downside of the book is it's stark prose and a lack of smooth transitions in places, on the plus side it has nice artwork and covers many details that other little kid books don't. For example, it talks about how important Christopher's brother, Bartholomew, was when it came for inquiring after funds for the expedition. He was the one who spoke to the Kings and Queens of England and France - not Christopher. In addition, the author discusses how Christopher was once shipwrecked, and how he ran a shop with Bartholomew that provided books and maps for navigators.

In a general sense, this book builds a picture of Christopher Columbus as a man who didn't give up when faced with delays and difficulties. After reading and discussing the book, children should be left with the impression that Christopher's trip wasn't a sudden and whimsical affair and that he acquired years of sailing experience and struggled through many setbacks before being able to begin his great adventure.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

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