Review Detail

Into the World of the Arabian Nights
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
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Since Abby has found out that Maryrose has been cursed, she goes through the mirror to try to help her, although she really should be spending her time trying to get more books under her belt for the school fundraiser read-a-thon. When she and Jonah end up in the world of Aladdin, Abby hopes that she can use her wishes from the genie in the lamp to rescue Maryrose. Unfortunately, she misspeaks her first wish, releasing the genie. Eventually, she ends up working with a novice genie, Karimah, who isn't very adept at granting wishes. And there are many that need to be made, since Abby finds out that Aladdin has fallen in love at first sight with the princess Badr-al-Badur, who in turns falls in love with him. Her father has given permission for the two to marry, but only if Aladdin can provide jewels and a fancy parade. Can Abby make Aladdin's dreams come true and save Maryrose?
Good Points
While the ages of Aladdin and Badr-al-Badur seem very young, there are some good details about the world of the Arabian Nights. Mlynowski is always good about pointing out the differences between Disney versions of stories and the traditional ones, so it's good to see that the princess isn't named Jasmine. There are descriptions of food, living conditions, and the plight of street children.

Badr-al-Badur is very interested in community service, and is not a stereotypical princess, no matter how trite her falling in love at first sight with Aladdin in. To his credit, Aladdin is impressed more with her fine qualities than her beauty.

This series appeals to readers who like light fantasy tales such as Buckley's The Fairy Tale Detectives or De Laurentiis' Recipe for Adventure series. They may even pick up this author's The Wishing Day after Abby mentions that she is reading it for the contest! It would be fun to pair these tales with readings of the folk tales or original stories that inspired them.
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