From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Continuing the tales begun in her Sindbad (Tundra, 1999), Zeman retells another yarn from A Thousand and One Nights. Despite vows to stay put, the sailor finds the call of adventure too great and sets off on a disastrous voyage. Driven off course by cruel winds, he and his crewmates wash up on the terrifying Mountain of the Monkeys. From there, it's all downhill for the luckless crew-the men encounter a castle garnished with human bones, a terrible beast with eyes like fire and a taste for raw sailor, serpents and sea creatures, and more-will Sindbad ever escape? And how? The story only takes hapless readers so far, before promising more in a future book. Engagingly written, the story is fleshed out by Zeman's pencil, colored-pencil, and watercolor illustrations. Richly detailed, with intricate borders, the pictures are strongly reminiscent of Near Eastern miniatures, thus evoking the culture from which the story springs. Readers will pore over the art, drawing detail from it to enhance the text. John Yeoman's The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor (McElderry, 1997) is a broader work, and certainly Quentin Blake's illustrations provide a contrast in style. But for those who like adventure stories with gorgeous artwork, this title is a sound addition to folklore collections.
Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Ages 4-8. Zeman's storytelling combines laid-back horror with tall-tale adventure as Sindbad the Sailor narrowly escapes all kinds of monsters on his voyages across the ocean. Her pictures--in pencil, colored pencil, and watercolor--are lush with the intricate detail of embroidered cloth wall hangings. There are skulls and skeletons everywhere and also beasts that range from a snake the size of a dragon to a huge razor-toothed giant who "merrily" grills a fat captain for supper. There's never any doubt that the intrepid Sindbad will escape with cunning and luck. Kids will enjoy the action with demons that are deliciously scary but never threatening. In the end, Sindbad saves his life by telling his captors the story of his adventures, and Zeman points out in her note that this parallels the fate of Sharazad, who is telling the Sindbad stories to save her life. Hazel Rochman
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