Children's LiteratureThese short "Rookie Biographies" are perfect for emergent readers. They feature people in the news as well as famous men and women of the past. Christopher Columbus was originally from Italy, but when he "discovered" America he was sailing for Spain. The ocean fascinated him and he learned to sail and navigate. He was intrigued by what Marco Polo had written about the Indies. He wanted to reach these rich spice lands by sailing west rather than making an arduous trek overland to the east. They sailed for many, many days and his crew grew afraid, but Columbus assured them that they would reach land. Finally they sighted an island populated by the Taino people who he called Indians because he thought that he had reached India. This version of the story is truly barebones and tells nothing of the horrors that came along with Columbus' arrival in the Americas. Some mention should be made that all did not end well for the Natives and that Columbus was hardly a hero. Since there were no photographs at that time, the book is illustrated with reproductions of engravings, and paintings and some original artwork. There is a pictorial words to know section at the end of the text, an index and a brief blurb about the author. 2003, Children's Press, Ages 5 to 7.