The Arabian Nights

128p. 978-1-84686-122-2.
RedReviewStarGr 4—6—A collection of 8 of the more than 1000 tales shared over the centuries. Tarnowska has based her selections on a recent release of a contemporary edition by noted Arabic professor Malcolm C. Lyons. A native of Lebanon, she grew up hearing the stories her grandmother embellished with female characters who showed true courage and heroism. She begins with the familiar tale of Shahrazade. "Aladdin" will likely be the most familiar to children, but the rest of the characters and adventures will enlighten and entertain them. This volume is lovely, in both story and art. Children will delight in hearing these stories shared aloud or reading them independently. The illustrations are outstanding, capturing the rich and deep golds, greens, purples, and blues of the costumes, deserts, and wildlife in this ancient land. The stories are interwoven, bound on either side by Shahrazade, who tells the tales in order to live another day. "The Diamond Anklet," a Cinderella tale; "The Ebony Horse," a tale of a young shah's true love and his quest to rescue his princess, and six others that feature women of extraordinary cleverness and wisdom are included. This beautiful, oversize book will enchant readers and listeners for many nights.—C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY
This edition of the traditional tales will captivate older middle-grade audiences; murder and infidelity are common themes, woven together with stories of genies and magicians. The Scheherazade framework isn't as engaging as the actual tales, and the font of those sections is difficult to read. The volume's best feature is its lovely, detail-rich, color-saturated acrylic illustrations that incorporate traditional motifs. Glos.

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