Columbus

( 1 )

Overview

Born in 1451 in the seafaring nation of Genoa in northern Italy, Christopher Columbus grew up watching ships sail into the harbor loaded with riches from Egypt, Spain, England, and Belgium. Columbus was convinced that he could gain gold, silk, ivory, and much personal wealth for himself if he were to sail west from Europe to the East and trade with China and India. When Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon finally provided him with three ships, a crew, and supplies for his journey. Columbus ...

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Overview

Born in 1451 in the seafaring nation of Genoa in northern Italy, Christopher Columbus grew up watching ships sail into the harbor loaded with riches from Egypt, Spain, England, and Belgium. Columbus was convinced that he could gain gold, silk, ivory, and much personal wealth for himself if he were to sail west from Europe to the East and trade with China and India. When Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon finally provided him with three ships, a crew, and supplies for his journey. Columbus embarked on the first of four voyages to the East in 1492. Although he never reached Asia, he did land in Central and South America, establishing a firm foothold in America and opening up wider European exploration to the new continent and other other foreigtn lands. Using Chinese paintbrushes and inks, gold overlays, and Italian marbled paper from Florence, Italy, Demi paints Columbus's vast world with characteristic skill and beauty.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Demi turns her biographical and artistic skills to Christopher Columbus in this balanced recounting of his life, from a youth who felt "the call of sea" to the man who helped establish a European foothold in the Americas. The author doesn't underplay the difficulties of Columbus's multiple journeys to the New World: one characteristically detailed scene shows the bloody massacre of Spaniards by Taino Indians who were "angered by the way the Spanish had mistreated them." Writing that Columbus died "a magnificent failure," Demi's thorough account fully demonstrates how Columbus changed the world, both for good and ill. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
This biography of Christopher Columbus follows the same pattern as Demi's visually gorgeous accounts of Marco Polo, Alexander the Great, and many others. Demi's distinctively jewel-like illustrations fill up ? of each page and bring to life the text on the side, In terms of style and content, this picture book is suited to middle school or above. It is by no means a white washed account of a great hero. Rather Demi's text provides plenty of material for her conclusion that Columbus was a "magnificent failure. Columbus the tyrant had destroyed the Taino culture and enslaved the islanders, yet he was one of the greatest navigators who ever lived." Middle and upper elementary social studies teachers might pair this this book with Jane Yolen's Encounter and Peter Sis's equally elaborately illustrated Follow the Dream. All three bring out the moral complexity of what we should or should not celebrate on Columbus Day. However, it is important to recognize that primary school children developmentally are not able to manage the multiple perspectives raised by this issue. Adults, including teachers, would do well to think through their own positions before guiding a classroom discussion. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—From his childhood in Italy to his death in Spain, this biography presents a detailed view of the explorer's life. The text is readable but lengthy; several direct quotations are included, with sources listed in an author's note. Columbus's faults and accomplishments are both presented, acknowledging that his drive to explore furthered Europeans' knowledge of other lands, but that his mistreatment of Native peoples devastated their lives and culture. To create rich visual images, Demi utilized Chinese paint and inks, gold overlays, and Italian marbled paper. Each stylized, single- or two-page painting is enclosed in a decorative frame and set on parchment color paper. Ferdinand and Isabella's throne room is full of sumptuous texture, while a storm at sea is a mass of swirling shape and color. The Native people are depicted as naked but without physical features. As with her earlier works, Demi's art commands attention.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761461678
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 414,350
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Demi has illustrated and authored more than 300 children's books including biographies of Jesus, Buddha, and the Dalai Lama, as well as folktales such as The Empty Pot and Liang and the Magic Paintbrush. Her work has received many awards and accolades, among them the Christopher Award, which recognizes individuals whose work makes a positive difference in the world, and the Middle East Book Award. Her titles have been designated American Library Association Notable Children's Books, New York Times Best Illustrated Books, Notable Books for a Global Society, and American Bookseller Pick of the List Books.She lives in Yarrow Point, Washington.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    This is a brilliant account of the facts of Christopher Columbus

    This is a brilliant account of the facts of Christopher Columbus,
    who did not discover America, but who was one of the greatest
    navigators the world has ever known!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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