Captain Stormalong (Tall Tales, The Imagination Series)

Captain Stormalong (Tall Tales, The Imagination Series)

by Larry Dane Brimner, Chi Chung

Describes some of the adventures of the legendary Captain Stormalong, who weighed some four tons at the age of twelve and was known for riding a whale.  See more details below


Describes some of the adventures of the legendary Captain Stormalong, who weighed some four tons at the age of twelve and was known for riding a whale.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The "Imagination Series-Tall Tales" spotlights fabled American heroes famed for their larger-than-life exploits. Stormalong, born with sea water in his veins, weighed four tons when he was only twelve. His adventures aboard sailing ships took him from the Antarctic (frozen in for a whole winter) to waters where he subdued a mighty white whale. While captaining the enormous vessel Courser, Stormy slid through the Straits of Dover only by coating the hull with soap, thereby turning the Black Cliffs white. These are just a few of the tales told of the legendary sea-farer, but a good selection for this beginning chapter book cum picture book. Although the salty language may be confusing for inexperienced sailors, there's a glossary to help, a map showing the cliffs, and a recipe for tasty tuna sandwiches (Stormy himself grew up on ostrich eggs and barrels of clam chowder). The text is jaunty, but simple enough to be read by some beginning readers, most confident ones, and enjoyed by even younger listeners. Illustrations aren't subtle, but they're big and full of movement (making them useful for a read-aloud), showing a determined Stormalong with wavy blond hair and bright blue eyes. The best one depicts the frozen sailing ship surrounded by icy mountains while a huge, mysterious eye peers through a hole in the ice. This tale could lead to further research on sea lore or make an attractive introduction to thematic units on tall tales, sailing ships, or storytelling. Index and bibliography are included. 2004, Compass Point, Ages 5 to 9.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Three serviceable American tall-tale retellings. Brimner captures some of the wild adventures of both Stormalong and Crockett through a combination of dialogue and narrative, but Pitcher is limited to a basic recounting of her famous role of distributing water to the fallen soldiers and standing in for her wounded husband firing a cannon during the American Revolution. The art in Stormalong and in Crockett effectively uses colors and textures to reflect the characters' environment, but the oversized coloring-book-style cartoons make Pitcher's story less believable. Each book includes brief information about the figure in real life and a rather far-fetched recipe (corn cakes for Pitcher, Tennessee grits for Crockett, and tuna sandwiches for Stormalong). Anne Rockwell's They Called Her Molly Pitcher (Knopf, 2002) and Ariane Dewey's The Narrow Escapes of Davy Crockett (Greenwillow, 1990; o.p.) are better choices. The publisher's Web site, which serves as a huge advertisement for Compass Point Books, contains only mediocre sites. Better Web information can be found by simply using a general search engine. Additional purchases at best.-Rita Soltan, Oakland University, Rochester, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

Capstone Press
Publication date:
Helpers in Our Community Series
Product dimensions:
9.34(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

I was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. After graduating from college in Taiwan, I came to the United States to study at California State University, Los Angeles, graduating with a MA in art. Pursuing my goal to become a children's book illustrator and having heard that New York was a good place to start, I dug up a list of representatives at the library, sent slides, and one of them decided to represent me. Here I come, New York! I packed up everything and drove east, where I've been living ever since.

The first few years in New York were tough; I didn't know anyone so finding employment was tricky. I worked as a teacher's aide in a Chinese-American after school program, as a tutor for new Chinese immigrants teaching basic ABCs, and as a part-time designer for an inflatable toys company and a hair accessories company. I shared a two-bedroom apartment with a young family and a girl from China. Luckily they were all very nice, and the girl and I became and remain best friends.

During these rough times, I would remind myself of how I fell in love with "Peter Rabbit" at the age of four and how I would draw in all of my picture books and on the walls at home. Discovering my graffiti, the next day my father presented me with a big pack of paper and a box of crayons. So there I would sit, drawing out the things happening in my life, the stories I read and all the dreams I had. It was from all these memories that I knew this was the life I'd always wanted and I'd never give up that dream. Fortunately my family has always been very supportive of me, helping both emotionally and financially over those tough years. They are still my biggest fans in the world, and although they live in Taiwan and Australia, we remain close: I travel every year to visit.

Now an accomplished illustrator, I sit in front of my drawing table, painting and drawing most of the time. My inspiration comes from everywhere -- books, movies, things I see, and music. I really like to sing, and even sang in clubs during my college years. My favorite subject has to be animals, though. I love animals. I had a dog for seventeen years who died of old age two years ago, so last year I adopted a cat. He's my baby now. When I'm not busy, I enjoy working with my hands, knitting, and making crafts.

Larry Dane Brimner is the popular author of more than 100 books for children, including the award-winning titles Merry Christmas, Old Armadillo (Boyds Mills Press) and The Littlest Wolf (HarperCollins Publishers). He is also the reteller of several other tall tales, including Calamity Jane, Casey Jones, Davy Crockett, and Molly Pitcher.

Larry lives inTucson, Arizona.

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