K-Gr 2-A small-format biography that's suitable for beginning readers with little or no background knowledge. Wade provides a basic outline of who Columbus was, what inspired him to explore, and why. The contributions of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, the composition of the crew, arrival and contact with the natives on the island, and his return to Spain are mentioned. The simple text with one to four lines per page is accompanied by an assortment of unattributed artwork in a variety of mediums, including bright paintings, pencil-and-ink drawings, and photographs. There is no map to indicate where Columbus may have landed in the Caribbean. Students seeking biographies will probably want more information than is provided here.-Christine E. Carr, Lester C. Noecker Elementary School, Roseland, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In the 1400s, countries became richer by seeking new routes to places said to have valuable items not known in their native lands. Columbus began to study and research new routes by sea to faraway places. He was determined to seek his fortune, using his telescope to chart his watery trips and studying the stars to direct his routes. He secured permission from the heads of different countries to convince Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand that he could fulfill plans he was making. Travelling a long way from one country to an unknown other land cost a great deal of money. There are drawings of people in clothing from this time period, large sailing ships, and other objects that may not be easily recognized. The vocabulary is simple with not too many facts and helps readers discern how one event bought on the next. Readers will find how many voyages Columbus took and to where. His planning and explorations changed the world and trade routes. Understanding of how the world is shaped and how countries can be connected to each other was also altered. Other biographies in “Rookie Biographies” series highlight other famous Americans. Each book has a timeline of the person’s achievements, an index, glossary, and highlighted facts highlighted. Reviewer: Enid Portnoy; Ages 8 to 11.