The young library: Fascinating Reading
By Judy Green - Special to the Bee
Published 12:00 am PDT Sunday, July 29, 2007
At sea in the 1400s
In the fall of 1405, China launched a fleet of ships to explore and establish China as a rich nation. They sailed under the orders Emperor Zhu Di gave to his childhood friend Zheng He, a man of humble beginnings who had never sailed. How he went about building the ships and sailing more than 35,000 miles makes fascinating reading in "Adventures of the Treasure Fleet" by Ann Martin Bowler of Loomis.
She writes on two levels: In a narrow, vertical column, she develops the historical fiction of the voyages. Across the bottom of the page in smaller type, she writes a factual account based on her extensive research. Together they add an often overlooked chapter to world history.
Artist Lak-Khee Tay- Audouard pulls it all together with lively, detailed illustrations in colored pencil. For end papers, she shows the Chinese admiral's route on a colorful map of China, India and East Africa.