Demi. Marco Polo. Demi. Marshall Cavendish, 2008. ISBN 9780761454335. $19.99. 58 p.
Reviewer: Tessa McMillan Reading Level: All
Subject: Polo, Marco, 1254-1323? --Travel --Juvenile literature; Explorers --Italy --Biography --Juvenile literature; Voyages and travels --Juvenile literature; Books--Reviews;
At the age of seventeen, Marco Polo is invited by his father, Niccolo, and his uncle Maffeo to go with them on a return trip to China. The emperor of China, Kublai Khan, has asked Niccolo and Maffeo to bring special Christian items to China to teach the Khan about the Christian faith. The Polos set off on their expedition and face many dangers. When they reach Kublai Khan, Marco is made his ambassador and is sent to several countries. But the Polos become anxious to return home. After seventeen years, Kublai Khan gives them permission to leave. Marco, Niccolo, and Maffeo survive the treacherous journey and return to Venice in 1295. Soon after his return home, Marco volunteers to fight in the Genoa war. Marco is captured and put in prison. To entertain the prisoners, Marco tells about his travels. A fellow prisoner writes down Marco's stories that became The Travels of Marco Polo. Marco is finally freed, but no one believes his adventures. He marries, has three daughters, and dies at the age of 69.
Demi writes and illustrates an engaging depiction of Marco Polo's life. In creating his images, Demi uses Chinese inks and gold overlays for the main illustrations. But he also uses "a mixture of Chinese and Indian embroidery and Italian, Arabian, and Persian designs of gold and ink on silk for the borders and frames" (1). Children of all ages can learn more about this famous explorer while enjoying the illustrations depicting his life abroad.
Volume 29, no. 6 (July/August 2009)
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