Marco Polo: History's Great Adventurer
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Marco Polo: History's Great Adventurer

by Clint Twist, Various
     
 

Immerse yourself in this interactive introduction to one of history’s greatest adventurers.

Travel along the Silk Road to medieval China with Marco Polo as your guide. Meet the warlord Kublai Khan and sail through pirate-infested seas in search of riches beyond measure. Including booklets, foldouts, and maps, as well as excerpts from The Travels of

Overview

Immerse yourself in this interactive introduction to one of history’s greatest adventurers.

Travel along the Silk Road to medieval China with Marco Polo as your guide. Meet the warlord Kublai Khan and sail through pirate-infested seas in search of riches beyond measure. Including booklets, foldouts, and maps, as well as excerpts from The Travels of Marco Polo, this beautifully illustrated volume illuminates the adventures of history’s greatest storyteller.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Part of the Historical Notebooks series, this evocative guide to Marco Polo's journeys pairs new text with excerpts from The Travels of Marco Polo. Antique map reproductions demonstrate the limited geographical knowledge available at the time, and original drawings emphasize the arduous nature of his travels, which took him across Persia and Afghanistan, through the Gobi Desert, to Xanadu (where he met Kublai Khan—who would employ him as a spy), and across the Arabian Sea. Twist combines flaps, minibooks, and informative sidebars to paint a portrait of the man whose insights inspired readers in his time to see the world as "a bigger and more interesting place." Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
It is impossible to read this sumptuous, scrapbook-style book about 13th century explorer, Marco Polo, without hearing the words of Coleridge's epic poem echoing in your head. This history, loosely based on Polo's own accounts of his travels from Venice to China, is as much about the Kublai Khan as it is about Polo since, certainly, Polo would not have achieved fame as an adventurer, explorer, and geographer without the Khan's patronage. Like other books of this style—large, glossy, full of historical tidbits and period maps in glued in envelopes—this is not a tidy read. It is a book for samplers who can dip into one part of Polo's life, then learn about the history of the silk trade or the spice trade, then return to Polo's adventures without losing their train of thought. The trivia is intriguing and far-reaching, varying as much as a brief history of Alexander the Great to the origins and preparations of frankincense. Many of the illustrations are reproductions of authentic paintings, tapestries, or maps. There is even a facsimile of a "golden passport," a gold bar issued as a protection to Polo by Kublai Khan. Each page is bordered and the cover, held closed by a magnet, depicts an ancient map. The pages are double sided cardstock in perfect binding. In its own right, this book is elegant and masterful and should intrigue readers with an interest in ancient exploration. Because of the many separate pieces, it will not circulate well in libraries. However, it is on target to be a great Summer Reading reward for the 2011 "One World, Many Stories" theme. Some voracious reader will be delighted to earn it. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—In this sumptuous interactive scrapbook, excerpts from Marco Polo's own account of his travels are paired with beautiful maps, drawings, and illustrations. Explanations of how some of the material can be inaccurate, whether it is artwork that uses European styles for Asian scenes or statements based on the map of the world as it once was, are also included. Flaps lift to reveal stories or pictures, and there are envelopes with letters inside, a "golden passport" that slides out of a pocket, and reproductions of Chinese paper money. The sturdy paper might help to extend the book's shelf life, but some elements need to be handled carefully. One particularly good device is a map that details the stops on Polo's journey. The map slides out of an envelope on the back of the front cover, allowing children to keep it handy as they read through the book, which is divided into sections based on the stages of the journey. This volume is well suited to browsing, and many readers will want to spend time poring over the many details. An appealing, engaging addition.—Heather Talty, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews

Routine content trumps flashy presentation in this follow-up to similarly packaged but more intellectually rewarding scrapbook-style albums introducing Charles Darwin (2009) and William Shakespeare (2010). This general account of Marco Polo's travels—deliberately printed in a weak, unevenly inked typeface—opens with the seasoned traveler dictating his memoirs in a Genoese jail. From this, it retraces his itinerary to the court of Kublai Khan, summarizes a few of his commercially minded observations of China and India and describes his missions to what the author calls "present-day Burma" and northern Persia and his eventual return to Venice. Multiple illustrations crowd every spread with a not-always-differentiated mix of Renaissance and newly minted portraits or cityscapes, plus maps from various eras, illegible contemporary documents and showers of gemstones or other filler. Not only does the main text earn a low score for legibility, but many flaps that are meant to be read in a certain sequence are not logically placed and promised "extracts fromThe Travels of Marco Polo" do not materialize beyond stray quoted phrases. Though certainly a step up from Susan L. Roth's manneredMarco Polo: His Notebook(1990), next to Russell Freedman'sAdventures of Marco Polo(2006) this isn't going to leave young readers with more than a superficial impression of Polo's travelogue or historical significance.(Novelty nonfiction. 11-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763652869
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
03/22/2011
Series:
Historical Notebooks Series
Pages:
30
Sales rank:
757,648
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 11.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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