Illus. in full color. The 15th century comes alive in this splendidly original picture book about Christopher Columbus. "The illustrations, executed in a variety of media, show scenes from the explorer's life as well as some imaginary creatures that populated the Europeans' picture of the outside world at that time. The details on each page invite individual readers to pay close attention, but the brief, clear text and framed illustrations lend themselves equally well to group sharing. Make room on your crowded Columbus shelf for this one."--(starred) School Library Journal.
Ages 5-9. This unusual picture book briefly describes the life of Columbus and illuminates it with stunning artwork. Reminiscent of Renaissance paintings, engravings, and (especially) maps, the illustrations combine the naive and the surreal in a very individual, sometimes haunting, way. The medium is "oil, ink and watercolor, and gouache . . . following a technique similar to fresco painting." Though misleading readers somewhat by implying that only Columbus believed the Indies could be reached by sailing west, Sis gives a fair summary of Columbus' life. The story begins with his childhood dreams of adventure and ends with his landing in what he believed to be the Orient. The book's abrupt ending sentence, "Columbus, however, never really knew that he had reached `America,'" raises more questions than it answers. Still, this is a good book to share on Columbus Day, primarily for the beauty and originality of Sis' artwork.