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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Whales and Magic: Sinbad the Sailor’s First Voyage, the other Odyssey Book 1 is a mythological adventure tale for children written by Ruth Finnegan and illustrated by Kevin Nara. A poor porter was sitting outside a wealthy merchant’s house one day, and he wondered aloud to Allah why he had to work and was poor while the merchant lived in luxury. That porter’s name was Sinbad, and by somewhat of a coincidence, the wealthy merchant, who had heard the porter’s lamentations, was also known as Sinbad ... Sinbad the Sailor. He called the porter over and offered to tell him the story of how he got those riches. It was a grand adventure indeed, which started out with a journey aboard a fine ship.
Ruth Finnegan’s mythological adventure tale for children, Whales and Magic, retells the tale of Sinbad the Sailor for a modern audience. Finnegan employs alliteration and repetition in her narrative to get her young listeners even more involved in the story of the young sailor and his encounter with a whale. Kevin Nara’s illustrations further add to the tale, giving each panel action and animation as we see the whale’s mighty tail crash down and see poor Sinbad flying through the air. The story and illustrations work together to make reading this book an experience, rather than just a story time offering. Whales and Magic: Sinbad the Sailor’s First Voyage, the other Odyssey, Book 1 is most highly recommended.