The Arabian Nights

The Arabian Nights

by Neil Philip, Sheila Moxley

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With its luxurious, jewel-toned illustrations, this handsome book affords a splendid introduction to the literary classic. Philip, a folklorist, presents a diverse selection of the stories collected and translated by Sir Richard Burton and others (an endnote identifies numerous sources and explains Philip's use of them). Included are such favorites as ``Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'' and ``Aladdin''; ``Sinbad the Sailor,'' however, is omitted ``on the grounds both of length and tedium.'' Opening with Sheherazade's predicament before the king, Philip leaps into an energetic, colorful narrative, a patchwork of adventure and magic which telegraphs an exuberant love of storytelling. Lush acrylic paintings convey a fairy-tale wonder, whether depicting human or fantastic adventures. Royal chambers are decked out in rich crimsons and violets, and a star-splashed velvet sky hangs overhead. Moxley's palette and style bear more than a passing resemblance to the work of Jane Ray, and the layout and design recall that of Margaret Mayo and Ray's Magical Tales from Many Lands. Ages 10-up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This collection grows stronger and more enthralling with each successive tale that Sheherazade weaves. The traditional ``Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'' is included as are ``Aladdin'' and ``The Anklet,'' a Cinderella variant. The less-familiar stories are successful as well, and children will be drawn in by the elegant fairy-tale language. Philip's turn of phrase sets just the right mood for these stories. Moxley's vibrant, jewel-toned acrylics are as rich as the king's treasury. Her folk-art style is reminiscent of Jane Ray's work, with its intricate compositions and accent touches of gold leaf. The endpapers are like an abstract box of jewels. The figures are more primitive than graceful, which sometimes makes them stiff, but does not detract from the book's overall appeal. It is best suited for independent reading, but would make a perfect, story-a-day read-aloud. The gravity of Sheherazade's plight and the suspense of wondering what tale she'll think of next will keep listeners on the edge of their seats.-Cheri Estes, Dorchester Road Regional Library, Charleston, SC
Carolyn Phelan
Philip retells 16 tales of the original 1,001 nights' "entertainments." From the familiar stories of Scheherazade, Aladdin, and Al Baba to a charming Cinderella variant called "The Anklet," the stories are written with clarity and verve and feature heroes and heroines who overcome obstacles through their wits, courage, and perseverance. Each turn of the page brings another colorful acrylic painting into view. Varying in size from full page to vignette, the rather primitive, impressionistic illustrations glow with warm colors and gold highlights. An appended note gives the background of "The Arabian Nights", Philip's sources and comments on his retelling, and some recommended books for those intrigued by the tales. Given the charm of the stories, it would have been foolish for the king to behead Scheherazade; it might be equally foolish for any library to overlook this excellent collection.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American ed
Product dimensions:
7.71(w) x 10.35(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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