The Incredible Voyage of Ulysses

Overview

After defeating the Trojans in an intense, ten-year war, the Greeks' courageous leader, Ulysses, king of Ithaca, begins the voyage home with his soldiers. There his faithful wife, Penelope, and his young son, Telemachus, await him. Ulysses never imagines that the journey home will be another ten-year quest in which he must confront all kinds of terrifying obstacles, including giant cannibals, one-eyed monsters, an enchantress who turns his men into pigs, and the tempting song of sea nymphs who try to lure him and...

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Overview

After defeating the Trojans in an intense, ten-year war, the Greeks' courageous leader, Ulysses, king of Ithaca, begins the voyage home with his soldiers. There his faithful wife, Penelope, and his young son, Telemachus, await him. Ulysses never imagines that the journey home will be another ten-year quest in which he must confront all kinds of terrifying obstacles, including giant cannibals, one-eyed monsters, an enchantress who turns his men into pigs, and the tempting song of sea nymphs who try to lure him and his men to their death. But Ulysses is a daring and clever man, willing to take on all that life and the gods put in his path in order to reach his home.
This retelling of the Greek poet Homer's epic tale is accompanied by beautiful and bold illustrations reminiscent of ancient Greek art. The graphic-novel-like style of the book, in which text and illustrations are tightly interwoven, creates a compelling world filled with drama and mystery certain to draw in young readers. Ages nine to twelve.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With narrative restraint and illustrative power, Landmann's (I Am Marc Chagall) retelling of Homer's Odyssey follows Ulysses as he battles frightening creatures and endures the treachery of the gods while sailing home to Ithaca, where his wife, Penelope, fends off suitors. Even when the nymph Calypso offers Ulysses the chance to live forever—“Penelope will soon be old/ And you, at her side, just a weak man”—he refuses to abandon his journey. “Immortality. To live forever./ Life is dear to man because death exists./ No.” Landmann's large-format spreads are divided into multiple panels, condensing the events of the sprawling epic into successive stage sets of action, the reader's eye guided across the pages by tiny arrows. At moments of heightened tension—the loosing of the winds of Aeolus, the bloody defeat of the suitors—the action breaks out to fill a double-page spread. The paintings, worked with swift, bold strokes, combine the solemn stiffness of Greek statuary with the prophetic sweep of William Blake's imaginings. It's a book that should be in every young adventurer's library. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)
Archaeology

"Readers will be thrilled, delighted, and perhaps a bit overwhelmed by this imaginative re-creation of Homer''s classic tale."

School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—This free-verse retelling of Homer's Odyssey, first published in Milan in 2007, is presented in picture book/graphic novel format. Landmann recounts the events in chronological order, leaving out none of the hero's encounters but stinting somewhat on the activity at Ithaca. The spare verse moves the story along quickly with echoes of the original's power despite occasional choppy sections. The full-color images are rendered in a dark palette and in a rather primitive style. The artist provides arrows to direct readers through the variously sized and shaped panels, but many of the elements are so small as to lose detail. In one of the final scenes, Landmann writes that the suitors are without their weapons when Odysseus finally attacks but his large illustration includes swords at the sides of many of the corpses. This rendition of Odysseus's tale is a fine introduction but might work better with other versions to flesh out the story. Besides offering a translation of The Odyssey itself, librarians and teachers should consider Adèle Geras's Ithaka (Harcourt, 2006) for a different view of events. Choices for younger readers include Padraic Colum's The Children's Homer (S & S, 2004) and Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden's splendidly illustrated The Adventures of Odysseus (Barefoot, 2006).—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606060124
  • Publisher: Getty Publications
  • Publication date: 10/28/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 60
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Bimba Landmann is the author and illustrator of a number of art books for young readers, including The Genius of Leonardo (Barefoot Books, 2000) and the award-winning I Am Marc Chagall (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2006).

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