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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 Fantasy books are so much fun! May 17 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this fantasy story. It takes place in a beautiful fantasy world. The characters are cool and the art is amazing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Voyage for Everyone Sept. 30 2003
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. For kids and the kid at heart, the only thing you will regret is not going on this fantastic voyage of distant shores and mythical creatures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS BOOK! Sept. 27 2002
By A Customer
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! A true classic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Book March 7 2002
By Christy
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 Cassandra. There are so many mythical creatures discribed and drawn out for you on every page. My favorite part is when they meet the Manticore and the Sphynx falls in love with him. It is a very cute book that reads easy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Voyage of the Basset Oct. 17 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 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 ::mumbles something about stupid 5-star limit:: May 14 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 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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