The Story of Aladdin or the Wonderful Lamp


Title: The Story of Aladdin or the Wonderful Lamp Author: Barbara de Wilde, Carol Devine Carson and Peter B Willberg Illustrator: W. Heath Robinson
Publisher: New York; Alfred A. Knopf

Genre: Traditional Literature Level: Upper  Number of pages: 98 Pub. Date: 1993


Aladdin is a young man who has grown up in a poor family. An African magician tricks him into going into a cave to get a magic lamp. But he traps Aladdin in the cave with the lamp and assumes him dead. Aladdin escapes with the help of a genie.  Eventually, Aladdin decides he wants to marry the princess, he uses the genie’s magical powers to get the money and gifts necessary to win over her father and eventually the two are married.  The African magician hears about this and is furious and plots to get the lamp and the princess for himself. At first successful, Aladdin eventually tricks the magician and gets back his wife and land. The magicians’ brother hears about this and plans to revenge his brother. Luckily the genie is able to warn Aladdin and he discovers the man before any harm is done.


This story tells the tale of Aladdin’s struggle to overcome poverty and win his love. Although there is no one mentor both Aladdin’s mother and the genie from the lamp serve as mentors to help Aladdin over come his problems. Finally through out the whole story Aladdin is very brave and never gives up on his goals.


This story is nothing like the Disney version of Aladdin. I don’t know why I’m surprised, I know Disney takes liberties with their movies but I other than a genie in a lamp there are almost no similarities. First of all, this story takes place in China while the Disney version takes place in the Middle East. Next many of the characters are different between the two stories with only Aladdin, the sultan, the princess and the genie even coming close. Oh and there is no flying carpet. Finally this story covers a significantly larger period of time that the Disney movie. Sometimes you wonder how they could even be called the same thing.


After: Students will watch Aladdin and compare it to the book.


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