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Voyage of the Basset [Hardcover]

James C. Christensen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 1 1996
Nine-year-old Cassandra Aisling takes readers on a fantastical journey of discovery in search of ancient legends and mythological worlds, in a fantasy tale featuring richly detailed paintings and line drawings in which magical kingdoms emerge from a sea of dreams.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

If merit were judged by sheer size, this massive illustrated book would win a heavyweight championship. But this ambitious fantasy-a Pagemaster-esque tale of a 19th-century professor and his family's magical journey into the world of legend-seems unduly slick. The pedestrian prose by St. James (A Journey of the Imagination) and Foster (who has written novelizations of Star Trek and Aliens) is frequently breathless with its own wisdom: "Legends offer mystery and romance and beauty and adventure to anyone who cares to find about them. To lose the old stories... I cannot bear to think of a world without them." While Christensen's abundant illustrations are often richly detailed and atmospheric, many of them are simply overwrought. And, in the mythical world of manticores, gryphons, harpies and trolls, the faeries, mermaids, dryads and their ilk all look suspiciously like Daryl Hannah. Line art, too, punctuates these pages, with semi-pretentious profiles of the fantastic creatures met on the voyage. Credendo vides, or "Believing is seeing," is the motto of the good ship Basset, and it serves readers as well. Those who believe children deserve books with more heart will pass this entry by. Ages 8-up. BOMC selection.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA. In 1850, Professor Algernon Aisling learns that the university plans to eliminate his Department of Myths and Legends. Because he fervently believes in the power of ancient stories and legends to help us understand ourselves and our place in the modern world, he absentmindedly wishes that a magical ship would transport him to the ancient lands of myth. PRESTO! Captain Malachi of the HMS Basset appears, and invites the professor and his daughters to sail from London to the lands of imagination. Aisling and 10-year-old Cassandra board eagerly, but 16-year-old Miranda is serious, practical, and reluctant to make the journey. The Aislings and the crew, made up of dwarves and gremlins, sail forth and encounter characters in (mostly Greek) myths: a manticore, Oberon and Titania, harpies, a sphinx, Minotaur, mermaids, sea serpent, trolls, gryphon, dryad, Medusa, unicorn, and a dragon. All goes along merrily until Aisling steals a dragon's skull belonging to the trolls. This action sets in motion a series of misadventures that endanger everyone aboard. Here, too, is a voyage of self-discovery. The professor realizes the consequences of his greed and desire for fame; Miranda begins to overcome her grief over her mother's recent death. Pen-and-ink drawings from the professor's journal and from Cassandra's notes are a delightful accompaniment to the lush paintings that illustrate this charming and whimsical fantasy. Christensen's magical journey proves that "one's imagination is where science starts," and will appeal to receptive dreamers from age 10 to 110.?Judy Sokoll, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Voyage of the Basset Oct. 16 2001
By A Customer
If you are like me and enjoy fantasy books, you will love "The Voyage of the Basset" by James C. Christensen, Renwich St. James and Alan Dean Foster. This book will capture your imagination and make you believe you are in the story. This is one of my favorite books because of the adventures it holds.
Imagine you and your family are taking a walk and a little boat with six dwarfs and who-knows-how-many Gremlins on it, is docked right in front of you. The dwarfs invite you aboard and take you on a magical journey of incredible adventures. This is what happened to Professor Asiling and his two daughters Miranda and Cassandra.
I think that "The Voyage of the Basset" is an incredible story. In my opinion, this book takes the best qualities of fiction, which are mythology, fantasy, adventure and imagination and then combines them into the best book I have ever read! And I have read at least 1,000 books. I believe that "The Voyage of the Basset" will capture the hearts and imaginations of children everywhere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy is alive and well on the Basset April 29 2000
As a lover of fantasy stories, mythology and art I found this book to be amongst the absolute best!. As a female my one complaint used to be "where are the adventures for girls? " Now we have "Cassandra" and her sister who travel on the Basset and have wonderful adventures.
Now we have everything you could possibly want in a book, great drawing, great charecters and a great story that leaves you satisfied yet wanting more.
Girls and Guys of all ages should get this book. If you have kids get it. If you dont have kids get it. I have purchased several copies as gifts, for a new grandmother to read and share over and over with her grandchildren. For a friend to make her and her husband smile. For a set of twins to let them travel togeather.This book is for everyone!
Take a trip with Cassandra and the wonderful crew of the Basset, climb aboard and sail away. The characters will linger with you forever and you will learn that "to believe is to see".
Please Mr Christensen write more!
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5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECTION May 31 2001
James Christensen is my favorite artist, and Voyage of the Basset does a wonderful job of showcasing his art. He does the best fantasy art I have seen, especially faries and mermaids. The story is not captivating, but it is an easy, enjoyable read. I think it is perfect to read to young children. Actually, it is a priceless book for a child to have, it would be completely magical. However, for adults, it is still an amazing book, one that you can proudly keep on your table top to show off to guests. Every single painting in this book is filled with wonderful detail, color, imagination, and life. For anyone who loves fairy tales and mythical creatures, do not pass up this treasure. You will love it from cover to cover. It is pure magic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Voyage of the Basset Jan. 16 2000
By A Customer
Wonderful. Nothing else does this book justice. I originally picked up this book in an upperclass type book store (not a please sit down and read type) and I sat down, on the floor, and read a great deal of it. This was at a time when it was far and away out of my budget and I yearned for it for years. I received this book recently as a gift and was once again amazed by the quality of it. It may be classified as a children's book but it is perhaps more enjoyed by the adult reader who can appreciate the literary and historical references. The illustrations are of an unsurpassed quality and often brought a smile to my face. If you still believe, or merely WANT to believe, in faery then order this book and forget for awhile.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I can't put my love for this book into words! Dec 27 1999
Christiansen did a fascinating and exceptional job on The Voyage of the Basset! The story is phenomenal; taking you through a dream world full of magic, imagination, and wonder. What a great book! And no matter how wonderful the book is, the paintings are absolutely exsquisite! They are all beautiful! I have to tell you to buy it and read it right now! You're going to love it! And if you loved this book, I know more that you are going to love! Dinotopia (James Gurney), Dinotopia: The World Beneath (James Gurney), The Goblin Companion (Brian Froud), Good Faeries/Bad Faeries (Brian Froud), and Faeries (Brian Froud)! I know you're going to love them all! Enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars ::mumbles something about stupid 5-star limit:: May 13 2000
dang. I dunno what else to say about this book. This is the most amazing, beautiful thing I've ever read. The book was written for children, but it is certainly something anyone can appreciate. It has a simple, charming, beautiful story, illustrated with some of the most amazing artwork I've seen in a book. A 1800's professor wishes to prove to his colleagues that mythology and imaginary things are important. So he and his two daughters set off for this fantasy land aboard the ship "Basset" who's motto is "Credendo Vives" by believing, one sees. As the story unfolds, the reader learns an unforgettable lesson about faith.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Fantasy/Fiction! Oct. 21 1998
"Voyage of the Basset" is a wonderfully, beautifully illustrated masterpiece that has displaced my all time favorite book from childhood. Any true lover of mythology, fantasy, folklore, faerie tales and the like will simply adore it. This is not just a 'children's' book- no, there are so many different levels that the author plays on that I find this book to be an amusing & amazing must have! I've sent it to several friends already, and given it to my Godson, nieces, and nephews to enjoy in the years to come. A wonderful book!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy books are so much fun!
I love this fantasy story. It takes place in a beautiful fantasy world. The characters are cool and the art is amazing!
Published 4 months ago by Alex Ewida
5.0 out of 5 stars A Voyage for Everyone
A story about a family coping with heartache and struggling to pick back up the pieces of their torn lives. Full of whimsical illustrations and imagination. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2003 by Courtney Doussett
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS BOOK!
If you love fairy tales then this book is for you! with an excellent story and beautiful pictures, I open my book at least once a week! I highly recommened this book to all ages! Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Book
This is my favorite book. I have read it so many times. The drawings are beautiful. The story is so interesting that you almost feel like you are in the book, that you are... Read more
Published on March 7 2002 by Christy
5.0 out of 5 stars Ready for an awesome read?
When Cassandra, who is nearly ten years old sets foot on the deck of H.M.S. Basset with her older sister & professor father, she is ready for adventure. Read more
Published on April 18 2000 by Rebecca Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars It helped me get inspired!
While reading htis book, i was running out of ideas quickly for drawings and pictures. After reading, i decided to draw some characters and they turned out great! Read more
Published on Nov. 6 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Magically delightful!
This is an enchanting book. I loved it. It has a story of magic and believing and it has perfect illustrations to fit.
Published on Aug. 8 1999
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