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Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Graphic Myths And Legends)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  566 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Rendered in the style of authentic Persian miniatures from the time of the Arabian Nights, Margaret Early's exquisite illustrations and decorative borders, enhanced with gold, make a perfect accompaniment to this timeless story.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 25th 1989 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1717)
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Apr 09, 2011 Manny rated it liked it
How Good Is Your Repartee? (1)

Hanging out being witty all day on Goodreads is no joke [pauses for laughter], and without constant practice you'll quickly become exhausted. In this occasional series, loosely inspired by the Patrice Leconte movie Ridicule, I'm going to provide you with useful examples to hone your already rapier-sharp ésprit. You can't afford not to read it! So, here's #1:

Your partner is making dinner, and is trying to get the top off a bottle of sesame seed oil. She appeals to yo
Manuel Reyes-Leon
This book is one of many that has made it to my list of favorite books. It is a story that has been translated and passed by word of mouth until it was finally written down. Thank goodness for that. I liked the story because it provides an interesting tale that has some violence, romance, misfortunes and cunning outsmarting actions. It is probably because I do not hear much stories like this from this culture but I can observe that the tale shares some incite into the culture like owning slaves ...more
Shay Hopper
Nov 29, 2015 Shay Hopper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wedes-shelf
I loved this story and I believe it was the best read yet. I loved the Arabic Culture that it showed throughout the entire story. This story was a story of greed and compassion and just over all love. The brothers in this story were so greedy and dumb to me it amazed me that either one of them survived the thieves. Cassim was jealous and I do believe it leads to the moral of this story and not being jealous of another person fortune even though it was stolen. When the Ali Baba found his brother ...more
Emma Shinkins
Although I had heard versions of this story before, this was the first time I had heard the whole story. Ali Baba gained riches by overhearing the forty thieves entering their secret cave, full of money and jewels. He filled his donkeys and went home, told his wife of their new fortune and then buried it. Now his brother came to hear about this and without Ali Babas knowledge returned to the cave so he himself could help himself to the riches. Things didn't go so well for him and he ended up cut ...more
Oct 13, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are OK with a little violence in your children's stories (not a discussion I am going to get into here) this is a fantastic edition, with a colorful full-page illustration on every spread plus charming little details on the facing pages. There is really no reason to publish a children's book if there are not pictures on every page and I don't know why people don't realize this. I especially wish publishers of Bible stories realized this.
Jun 17, 2011 Jess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not kids.
Recommended to Jess by: Browsing folktales; desire for more Arabian Nights tales
Not to be a prude, but hello violence, didn't know I was going to meet so much of you here. Seriously. Whoa. Remind me not to steal from a thief's cave. I don't even know words like Sesame outside of the Street.


It's not bad. It's just the first time I've read this story. This one's a bit scarring for everyone the first time they read it, right?

Jan 26, 2010 Vika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
I actually found this story pretty disturbing, because the 'slave girl' killed 40! people and was completely peaceful about it.....
The message it sends to the kids... "If the person is bad, you can kill them, don't worry about it" :/
Feb 05, 2011 Randa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
first book from my dad to me when i was 7 and i read to my family loudly ,they laugh soooo much becouse i read the words wrong but i still see that book as my precious treasure and still keep it dispite it's look like a pharaons's books ^___^
Jul 15, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do wonder why its called Ali Baba when at the real heroic stuff is done by his maid...
Ivan Bedolla
Dec 08, 2015 Ivan Bedolla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I read Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is a really good story and it is easy to see why it survived centuries, numerous translations and despite being passed on by word of mouth managed to spread around the world. The story places the reader in a situation where every decision brings out the question, “what would I have done?” Ali Baba demonstrates noble characteristics of humility and gratuity. Based on how the story goes one wonders if the title should really include Ali Baba despite he was ...more
I wouldn’t have expected it, but the graphic novel format lends itself well to the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” from the Arabian Nights. The tale follows Ali Baba as he discovers the secret lair of a group of thieves and steals from it. Later his brother’s wife discovers that Ali Baba has money and urges her husband to find out the secret, which he does. After hearing it he, of course, goes to the lair as well. He does not fare as well as Ali Baba and is brutally murdered by the thi ...more
Shantal Murillo
Feb 28, 2017 Shantal Murillo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story, short enough to read in a moment before bed. I had the most bizarre and wonderful of dreams...
Dec 08, 2015 Edwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After only knowing of this story for so long, I found reading through Ali Baba’s tale offered many lessons about loyalty and greed, and the things one reaps from following in those paths. Ali Baba discovered a secret cave and the knowledge to enter it, only to find himself faced with an enormous wealth in treasures. He took enough to give himself a wealthy life, but was approached by his brother Cassim who could not bear to be in any place beneath his sibling. Despite being threatened by him, Al ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Jan 19, 2011 Nicola Mansfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A retelling of the famous Arabian Nights tale in which the phrase "open sesame" originates. A detailed retelling that manages to keep all the gruesome violent bits of the original tale while keeping the story family friendly. Recommended for ages 10-14 by the publisher I tend to agree as the violent bits while not actually shown are alluded to through words and images, leaving the goriness to the imagination. There is one scene with a pool of blood. Written at a 3.0 Reading Level, this will be g ...more
Rolanda Frank
Dec 06, 2015 Rolanda Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading this story. I was very impressed with cassim's maid Morgiana loyalty to Ali baba and his family. I considered her the hero of the story. she was clever, strong, resourceful and calm whenever she faced danger.

I commend Ali Baba as well for being loyal to his brother, to share the secret pass code (open sesame). I would not have done the same, his brother already wealthy wanting to add more to his wealth was just greedy. I would like to think the author added the lesson of his dea
Jackie Pino
This tale takes readers back in time to ancient Persia where Ali Baba finds the hiding spot for the treasure stolen by a band of thieves. When Ali’s brother is killed trying to steal a great deal of valuables from this hideout, Ali must not let on that he knows the location of the stolen goods, but still retrieve his brother’s body. The robber chief spends the rest of the tale trying to find Ali Baba. This tale addresses the traditional story issues of obtaining rewards for good behavior and pun ...more
Nov 29, 2015 ITUNU DARAMOLA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this story,because it has to do with,trust,loyalty,reward of being greedy and brotherhood betrayal.I loved hearing Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, how cool that the hero was a woman, I wasn't aware of that. And for being smart, no less. Now that's a story I could see making a good retelling.It was a worthwhile retelling and this is what happens in our modern world and also the story lines still happens in our present world families where wives will kill their husbands because of life insuran ...more
This is a good, solid graphic novel version of the classic Arabian Nights story. Be warned, though, that by being true to the original, it's a bit gruesome for younger readers. Characters die in the story, and pretty horribly. While most of the deaths are technically "off stage," in at least two cases there's a LOT of blood shown in the panels, and one of the deaths is described very thoroughly, as a plot point.
For middle school-aged kids, this is a good introduction to the tales of 1001 nights.
Apr 03, 2016 Pinky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-16
I was assigned parts of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights) for an Urdu Lit in translation class once upon a time and the version of Ali Baba I read was translated differently and/or I blocked the man beheadings and grisly murders. Story is still excellent but wow. Body count is high.

Character of Magiana is outstanding - she is smart, clever and loyal and rewarded for it.

*Note: Cultural significance, historical societal roles for men and women and relationships between community member
Holland Crook
Jan 25, 2012 Holland Crook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first graphic story I can ever remember reading, and I really enjoyed it. I think the pictures do a wonderful job at telling the story, so even if students get lost they can continue following with their eyes and probably still understand what was going on. I really enjoyed the idea of a graphic story as well, I think that sometimes kids like to read different material than what I read so it was good for me to expand my horizons.
Read this as part of the Junior Great Books program in the 80s. Enjoying it again as I read it to my kids.
Jun 15, 2008 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great story, very entertaining. No wonder the sheikh didn't have Scheherazade executed. Ali Baba is an epic dumbass, and I was pretty glad his dickhead brother-in-law got offed. The slave deserved a better reward than just being married off to Ali Baba's son, although, since she kept saving his ass, keeping her around was the smartest thing Ali Baba did in the whole story.
Somehow I was under the assumptions that this was a children's classic. It's not, is it?

I don't have much of an opinion on the story. I didn't sympathize with anyone in particular or was excited by the story at any point. There's also no major moral or anything to the story - or if there was, I seem to have missed it. ;)
Laura Craner
I read this one aloud to my kids on the looooong drive across Colorado. It was free for my kindle as part of the anthology _Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know_. More than anything what sells this story is the happy surprise of Morgiana's character. That woman is a novel unto herself; I hope someone (maybe me?) someday writes a novel based on her.
Brennan Wieland
Jan 26, 2011 Brennan Wieland rated it liked it
From this story is where we get the famous phrase "Open Sesame", which you might recognize from one of the Aladdin movies. I didn't enjoy this much, nothing too exciting or different from the other books I've been reading. You really start to notice some reoccurring themes in these children's books.
After enjoying Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, I decided to read this one. It was quick and ended rather abruptly. I did enjoy it a lot as a child and it was nice to revisit this story.
Ruo Nan
Jan 28, 2014 Ruo Nan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Considering I only understood about half of this, I thought it was pretty entertaining.
I read this book in French for French class. During the beginning half we read straight from the text and for the second half she gave us a rough translation.
This story isn't something you read to children right?
Dec 29, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remembered the story from childhood. Loved it again. The words open sesame and close sesame remain in my memory. a great adventure tale. A great ending with all the characters living happily ever after. The bad guys all meet their doom. Fast paced and interesting twists. One of my all time favorites.
Tanya Shvet
Sep 22, 2013 Tanya Shvet rated it it was amazing
Tale of the Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves is very interesting. I liked her character Mercan she is very smart and wise, thanks to its cunning Ali Baba remained alive. I am very glad that the end of the story she married the son of Ali Baba
Sep 05, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The text is pretty similar to the Ali Baba story my grandmother used to tell me when I was young, but the goriness didn't affect me then as much as seeing the actual images. The illustrations are horrific because they show a beheaded man and cadaver being sewn up.
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