Classic stories and dazzling illustrations of princesses, kings, sailors, and genies come to life in a stunning retelling of the Arabian folk tales from One Thousand and One Nights and other collections, including those of Aladdin, Sinbad the Sailor, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The magical storytelling of award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli dramatizes these timeless tales and ignites childrens’ imaginations. – Goodreads
Tales from the Arabian Nights Review
Tales from the Arabian Nights brings 25 richly illustrated tales back to your bedtime reading. Donna Jo Napoli does a fantastic job in her selection and simplification of tales that are appropriate for all ages. There are ones everyone is familiar with, such as The Tale of Ali-Baba & The Forty Thieves and The Tales of Sindbad the Sailor, but also others such as The Tale of Qamar Al-Zaman.
Though she does take some license with the tales, she kept the integrity of the original stories. The ones she selects and tells are timeless and create good discussion points should parents choose to do so .The sidebars in each story were excellent and also give starting points for discussions. They talk about everything from math to fear of the dark, and even bathing throughout the ages. These tie in a bit of reality to the fanciful stories, and are neat tidbits of history.
The story of survival, the love story, however you want to put it, is well-done. It shows that sometimes you have to work hard for your happily ever after. That things aren’t always won by brute force, but also by cleverness and determination. The journey may be fraught with perils, hearts can pull together and fly apart and come together again.
The illustrations done by Christina Balit are fascinating. Originally, neither my child nor myself were a fan of the pictures. As we got more into the stories, though, we began to fall in love with the illustrations. They’re not what we’re used to, but the pictures (that sometimes stretch over 1.5 pages) provide a visual feast. It’s easy to take a few minutes before beginning a new tale to study the pictures Balit has created to figure out what might happen next in the story. I loved the illustration of the fish in the first voyage of Sindbad the Sailor. However, my child went crazy over the illustration of The Tale of The Vizier’s Two Sons Continues (Night 24). She thought the buffalo was simply ‘awesome’.
Overall, its a beautiful book that gives a great selection of stories to tell your child, or to enjoy yourself. Whether it’s reading the stories or simply looking at the illustrations, there’s something everyone can enjoy within Tales from the Arabian Nights. Want to purchase it for yourself? Tales from the Arabian Nights is now available on Amazon.