Voyage to the Pharos

Overview

Dino has a dream. As a boy growing up on the small island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean, he has heard about a lighthouse far away across the sea in Alexandria, Egypt. But it isn't just any lighthouse. It is the Pharos, one of the tallest buildings in all the world - with statues of gods and great kings, and at the very top a giant, roaring bonfire that guides ships from miles away. More than anything, Dino wants to be on one of those ships. But getting on a ship and surviving ...

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Overview

Dino has a dream. As a boy growing up on the small island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean, he has heard about a lighthouse far away across the sea in Alexandria, Egypt. But it isn't just any lighthouse. It is the Pharos, one of the tallest buildings in all the world - with statues of gods and great kings, and at the very top a giant, roaring bonfire that guides ships from miles away. More than anything, Dino wants to be on one of those ships. But getting on a ship and surviving on one are two very different things.

Based on one of the most amazing wonders of the ancient world, Voyage to the Pharos brings together stunning illustrations with a tale of timeless and thrilling adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
[A] handsome volume...The vividly written story has nice phrasing and a simple dramatic arc.
Children's Literature - Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco
Dino, a young boy, has always wanted to see the fabled Pharos lighthouse in Alexandria, Egypt. When his father allows him to tag along on a four-day journey by sea, Dino is eager to see if the lighthouse really does touch the sky. The book follows Dino's adventures on the ship and his eventual arrival in Alexandria. It is an interesting story about a fascinating historical monument (which is now gone, as the author's note in the back of the book details). However, Dino's adventures are not actually particularly exciting. He helps the ship through a storm, and brings water to rowers as the crew attempts to escape brigands, but the calm tone and lack of explanation make these seem less harrowing than they might otherwise appear. The illustrations are often muted and simple, and the lack of developed characters (Dino, his father, and a crew member named Nicholas are the only people with any real part to play) adds to the feeling that this book should have been much more riveting than it actually is. Still, children interested in sea-faring adventures and history will find much to learn and think about here. The book will find a good home in school and classroom libraries, and could be used as a starting point in historical units for the primary grades. Reviewer: Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—After much persuasion, Dino is allowed to accompany his father, a ship's cook, on a sea voyage from Greece to Egypt sometime during the third century B.C.E. He helps the sailors untangle the rigging, takes them water as they outrun pirates, and serves as a lookout during a storm. Dino's efforts are rewarded by his first awe-inspiring view of the Pharos lighthouse, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as his reports of its location help the Hermes arrive safely in Alexandria. Large-scale illustrations capture the drama of the events to full effect. The open boat being tossed by crashing waves, Dino bravely climbing to his lofty post, and especially a spread of the Pharos rising up powerfully out of the sea will keep readers actively engaged. Roth varies his palette to increase the intensity of the perilous scenes and to highlight the joy of surviving unharmed. An author's note explains how and why the lighthouse was built.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Kirkus Reviews
It's not often that the youngest readers have the opportunity to get swept away on a heart-pounding adventure, but this fictional voyage delivers just that. Set more than 2,000 years ago in ancient Greece, this tale features a brave young boy, Dino, who has been begging his father, a ship's cook, to let him come along. He especially wants to see the Pharos lighthouse in Alexandria, Egypt, one of the tallest buildings in the world. Finally his father lets him come, even though it's early in the season, when gales are common. When the inevitable storm lands, one wonders why his father would put Dino in harm's way, but hey, things were probably a little different back then, and the ship prevails. Roth's sweeping, painterly landscapes, aerial views and dramatic close-ups of the windblown characters add a classically cinematic touch. Innocent and simple enough for younger audiences with plenty of suspense for the older set. Get some popcorn and give those kids a break from Pixar. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670062546
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/3/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

received her journalism degree from Medill at Northwestern University. Nearly twenty years ago she traveled to the Middle East for an internship and decided to stay, learn Arabic, and ultimately marry and raise a family. She lives in Cairo, Egypt. Roger Roth received a degree in fine art from Pratt Institute. His award-winning illustrations have appeared in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, as well as many children's books. He and his family live outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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