Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp

Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp

by Philip Pullman, Sophy Williams
     
 

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The Whitbread Award-winning author of THE GOLDEN COMPASS turns on an enchanted lamp of a story -- brilliantly written, sparklingly funny, and guaranteed to reveal wonders.

Philip Pullman garnered every accolade around with the breathtaking His Dark Materials trilogy. Now he turns his storytelling gifts to one of the most famous of the Arabian Nights tales,

Overview

The Whitbread Award-winning author of THE GOLDEN COMPASS turns on an enchanted lamp of a story -- brilliantly written, sparklingly funny, and guaranteed to reveal wonders.

Philip Pullman garnered every accolade around with the breathtaking His Dark Materials trilogy. Now he turns his storytelling gifts to one of the most famous of the Arabian Nights tales, "Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp." Aladdin is a shiftless good-for-nothing boy until he unwittingly acquires a magic lamp inhabited by a genie -- and the adventure that follows both makes his fortune and makes him a man. Pullman tells the tale with his trademark crisp writing and fast-paced action, while Sophy Williams's pastels shimmer with the heat and beauty of the Far East. Terrific for reading aloud!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As lavishly ornamented as a sultan's palace, this sumptuous picture book retains the essence of the original Arabian story while updating the language and plot enough to suit modern readers. The words seem exotic without being too ornate, and the book's generous white-bordered pages complement the silver ornamentation of the jacket to announce its gift book status. Pullman (the His Dark Materials trilogy) streamlines the plot, and unlike the Disney animated film, centers his story on Aladdin, minimizing the role of the mysterious jinnee. Pullman's otherwise brisk retelling occasionally lingers lovingly over the enchanting details he invents. He describes the magic garden with its imprisoned imp in a glass bottle, its "butterfly with a human face tethered by a golden chain no thicker than a hair, and dozens of other wonders." While Pullman's narrative sets the story in China (as does the original), Williams's (When Grandma Came) paintings focus instead on dreamy, Middle-Eastern caricatures of the villainous Moor, the princess's harem-like bedroom and radish-shaped palaces. Still, there's plenty of humor and wordplay for adults as well as children, including Pullman's mention of the supposed narrator Aladdin hires to write his story ("Blessed be Aladdin, Prince of Publishers! May every poor writer of stories find a patron as generous and wise!"). An excellent introduction to the Aladdin lore, and a pithy parable as well. Ages 7-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This thick picture book contains a spirited retelling of the centuries-old story of a boy and the lamp that changed his life. Retold by a master storyteller himself, Pullman uses a playful English voice for the traditional tale. The sultan is referred to as "Your Sublimity" and "Your Amplitude." In very British tones the sultan agrees to Aladdin's plea and dismisses him with, "Oh, well, all right. Twenty-four hours then." The story begins with the greedy trickster, Moor, meeting Aladdin and luring him into obtaining the enchanted lamp for himself. Things go wrong and although trapped beneath the ground, Aladdin has possession of the lamp. Accidentally, he learns of its powers, saves himself and delivers his mother out of poverty. Aladdin is no longer the poor rogue without means of support when he glimpses the sultan's Princess Badr-al-Budur and falls in love. The lamp is used to provide the sultan with his demands for the hand of his daughter that includes the building of a palace. All this occurs by releasing the "jinnee" when the lamp is rubbed. With theatrical drama, Moor comes back into the picture and plots to steal away the lamp, the princess and the palace. Aladdin has 24 hours to turn the story around, but does it with the speed of magic that takes less time. All is well at the story's end, and a satisfying conclusion tells the reader that Aladdin inherits the kingdom when the sultan dies. The font style enhances the layout of the book as do the borders of the full-page illustrations. The soft-hued paintings are works of art and carry the reader further into a distant time and place. With more text than illustrations, the book will serve as a longish read-aloud but older primaryand upper-elementary grade students will enjoy it as an engrossing read-alone. 2005, Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, Ages 7 to 10.
—Jacki Vawter, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-6-Pullman, known for his ability to create worlds full of drama, excitement, and dark battles of good versus evil, employs a mild tone in this retelling of the classic tale of the mischievous boy who becomes heir to a magical lamp. He sets the story in its original location-China-and his retelling is fast-paced and lively. Skillful use of colorful contemporary language maintains the tale's mystical, long-ago quality. Descriptions of the boy's most violent encounters are cushioned (the evil Sorcerer's beheading) or omitted (scenes with the Sorcerer's vengeful brother, Aladdin's efforts to stop the princess's marriage to the Vizier's son). The result is an accessible story that can be introduced to younger children. Williams's decorative, jewel-toned illustrations are competent and engaging, but fail to express the drama and excitement of Aladdin's adventures. Eric A. Kimmel's The Tale of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp (Holiday House, 1992) is an appealing picture-book retelling. Marianna Mayer's striking version (S & S, 1985), illustrated by Gerald McDermott, focuses on Aladdin's attempts to win the princess. Andrew Lang's version (Puffin, 1983) is still the gold standard as the most complete and compelling account of Aladdin's life.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439692557
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2005
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
10.70(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
AD980L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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