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Kirkus ReviewsFrom the team behind the adaptation of The Odyssey (1995), an audacious retelling that follows the main story line of Melville's monumental work—of Ishmael's tale of Captain Ahab's mad quest for revenge against the giant white whale that took his leg on a previous voyage. While rewrites for children of classic adult literature remain controversial, this one is stunning. The language, through which McCaughrean subtly brings out many of the metaphors of the original text, is unusually ornate for the format, making it—despite its storybook-look—more appropriate for readers beyond picture books. Although sometimes humorless, the lush prose rockets the story along like a square rigger under full sail, with all the beauty and complexity that entails. Ambrus's ample illustrations are full of character.
McCaughrean largely succeeds in conveying to young readers the mood, language, story, and power of the original. For those disposed to retellings of the classics, this is a prime example of the way to do it.