Marco Poloby Demi
Many people say Marco Polo was the greatest explorer that ever lived, traveling 33, miles by land and sea from Venice, Italy, to modern-day Beijing, China. His famous book, The Travels of Marco Polo, indicates that he was a man of extraordinary bravery, brilliance, and strength. With his uncle and father, he traveled across Turkey, Armenia, the Middle East, the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, and the hot Taklimakan Desert before finally reaching China in 1275. Welcomed by the great emperor Kublai Khan, Marco Polo was amazed by the inventions, riches, and religious tolerance of the great Khan’s kingdom, where Marco remained for the next 2 years.
This elegant, scholarly picture-book biography brings the explorer's fantastic journey to life. Born into a wealthy Venetian merchant family in 1254, Polo embarked on his famous trip to China at age 17 with his father and uncle, both accomplished explorers. A gifted storyteller, Demi weaves her subject's own accounts into a seamless tale of wonder. Traveling by boat, horse, pack mule, and camel, the group faced constant peril-bandits, pirates, vast deserts where "...eerie spirit voices...tried to lead them astray," mountains "so high and so cold that no birds flew," monsoons, dust storms, cannibals, illness, and murderous warriors. On their journey home after almost a quarter of a century, only 8 of a party of 600 survived. When they finally returned home, their amazing tales were often met with disbelief, even mockery. While defending his city during a war with Genoa in 1298, Marco was captured and imprisoned. He told his stories to a fellow prisoner-a writer, who recorded them in "the greatest travel book ever written," now known as The Travels of Marco Polo . The delicately rendered illustrations, painted with Chinese inks and gold overlays, often extend beyond their intricate frames of "Chinese and Indian embroidery and Italian, Arabian, and Persian designs...on silk." Dominated by red and gold, these miniatures capture the exotic beauty of 13th-century China.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
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This book is not only educational,
but it is an artistic treasure.