Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas

( 3 )


He’s back! The late Mordecai Richler had planned more adventures for his small hero and now, with the full support of the Richler family, award-winning author Cary Fagan carries on the tradition in a hilarious story for a whole new generation of Jacob fans.

After Jacob Two-Two’s father writes a very important novel, the family makes plans to move to Canada.

They board the SS Spring-a-Leak for a journey across the ocean. Jacob Two-Two makes some...

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Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas

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He’s back! The late Mordecai Richler had planned more adventures for his small hero and now, with the full support of the Richler family, award-winning author Cary Fagan carries on the tradition in a hilarious story for a whole new generation of Jacob fans.

After Jacob Two-Two’s father writes a very important novel, the family makes plans to move to Canada.

They board the SS Spring-a-Leak for a journey across the ocean. Jacob Two-Two makes some new acquaintances — the unbelievably handsome Captain Sparkletooth, the acrobatic Bubov Brothers, the failed toy inventor Mr. Peabody, and the giant but gentle Morgenbesser. Most important, he makes friends with young Cindy Snootcastle, who keeps a secret treasure in her pocket.

But something is wrong on the SS Spring-a-Leak. A series of clues — a black eye patch; a parrot who squawks “Apple sauce in your underpants!”; and a sailing ship flying the Jolly Roger — can only mean trouble. Will the intrepid Shapiro and the fearless O’Toole really be left on a desert island? Will Jacob Two-Two be made to walk the plank?

Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas is a treat for those who know Jacob and for those who are about to meet one of the most endearing characters in children’s literature.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“… Fagan crafts a zany tale that kids (in the spirit of Jacob’s doublespeak) will want to read at least twice. Petricic, whose line art complements the story’s humor…” 
— Publishers Weekly

“A delightful, imaginative tale of the incorrigible Jacob Two-Two…. Cary Fagan has woven a wonderfully silly, child-like adventure of ridiculous characters…. This story is a great yarn and hooks the childlike imagination in every reader regardless of age. An excellent use of a character…. Cary Fagan’s adventure story will be a hit with children and adults alike, an excellent chapter book for late primary and junior grades….” 
Excellent, Resource Links

Publishers Weekly
Fagan (the Kaspar Snit novels) continues the late Mordecai Richler’s three-book series starring an earnest boy whose name reflects the facts that he is “two plus two plus two years old” and that “nobody in his family ever heard him the first time, so he had to say everything two times.” Set after Richler’s first installment, Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, this novel opens as the clan, relocating from England to Canada, ships out on the SS Spring-a-Leak, skippered by an amusingly vain and clueless captain. Passengers include acrobat brothers, an inept ventriloquist, a luckless toy inventor and Jacob’s spunky new pal, Cindy. Droll interaction among the characters spins into slapstick when bumbling pirates board the ship and shanghai Jacob and Cindy as pirates-in-training. Fagan crafts a zany tale that kids (in the spirit of Jacob’s doublespeak) will want to read at least twice. Petricic, whose line art complements the story’s humor, also illustrates new reissues of Richler’s previous Jacob Two-Two titles. Ages 8–11. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Lisette Baez
Jacob Two-Two is an easy-to-love character who will intrigue readers with his unique qualities. He is a special character that will have readers eager to follow him on additional adventures in the rest of the series. Jacob Two-Two desperately wants his family to forget his birthday so he can keep his unique name. This concern is set aside when his father reveals some pressing news that the family is set to move to Canada due to his father writing a very important book. The family will board the S.S. Spring-A-Leak and Jacob will find himself right in the middle of a pretty exciting adventure. Jacob crosses paths with some unique characters along the way. Captain Sparkletooth, Mr. Peabody, the failed toy inventor, the acrobatic Bubov Brothers and the ever so gentle giant Morgenbesser are some of the distinguished characters who make this story interesting and difficult to put down. Cindy Snootcastle, who keeps a special treasure in her pocket, soon becomes one of Jacob's most important friends. After discovering some mysterious clues, Jacob realizes the trip on the S.S. Spring-A-Leak will not be smooth sailing, especially when some not-so-friendly pirates arrive. Jacob must work his magic to save the S.S. Spring-A-Leak and his newfound friends. Fagan's series of "Jacob Two-Two" novels are based on the character previously created by Mordecai Richler. This is book four of the series. Reviewer: Lisette Baez
School Library Journal
Gr 3–4—Jacob Two-Two and his family are moving to Canada from England and have embarked on the SS Spring-a-Leak, along with other passengers who are various types of actors or entertainers. Unfortunately, Jacob finds that things are not all shipshape onboard as he and Cindy, a girl traveling with her mother, soon uncover some devious plans that result in them being captured by pirates. They were after what they thought was gold on the ship, but it turns out to be Cindy's pet mouse named Treasure. The two children end up on an island and are rescued by other passengers who put on a performance. The writing and plot are uninspired and even young readers will see how silly it is that the pirates decide to become actors. Part of a series that was originally written by Mordecai Richler and that has also been made into a cartoon series, this book has high adventure and black-and-white line drawings interspersed throughout. It might appeal to reluctant readers and those already familiar with the series.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Fagan resurrects the late Mordecai Richler's most famous character for a new adventure released to accompany freshly illustrated editions of the three original episodes. Still "two plus two plus two years old," the chronic worrier sets out with his family from England to Canada aboard the SS Spring-a-Leak but soon finds himself kidnapped by a crew of not-exactly-fearsome singing pirates. Well supplied with comical sketches from Petricic, plus a supporting cast that includes a parrot given to screeching "Kiss my feathered butt!" and like disrespectful sentiments, a hulking but kindly ex-wrestler who once defeated the Hooded Fang himself and a narcissistic Captain who turns out to be the Canadian Prime Minister's long-lost brother, the episode fits into the series nicely in both breathless pacing and Roald Dahl-style zaniness. Closing with a big birthday party and Jacob's expressed wish for a pet, it also fits nicely between the events of Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (1975) and Jacob Two-Two and the Dinosaur (1987). Not too-too bad. (Fiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887768958
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 9/8/2009
  • Series: Jacob Two-Two Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 1,518,797
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mordecai Richler was the author of ten successful novels, numerous screenplays, and several books of nonfiction, his novel Barney’s Version was an acclaimed bestseller and the winner of The Giller Prize, the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour, the QSpell Award, and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Novel in Canada and the Caribbean. Richler also received two Governor General’s Literary Awards and was short-listed twice for the Booker Prize. Mordecai Richler died in Montreal, in 2001.

Cary Fagan has received the Toronto Book Award, the Jewish Book Committee Prize for Fiction, and the Mr. Christie Silver Medal. His recent picture books include Ten Old Men and a Mouse, My New Shirt, and Thing-Thing. His children’s novels include The Fortress of Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch Honor Book), Directed by Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch nominee), and Ten Lessons for Kaspar Snit. Cary Fagan lives in Toronto.

Dusan Petricic is the award-winning illustrator of more than twenty books for children including My New Shirt by Cary Fagan. A former professor of illustration and book design, his work appears in The New York Times, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, and The Toronto Star. He lives in Toronto.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    Great book

    Awesome get the book .

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013


    I watched the t.v. show on cubo channel!

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    It is always sad when a giant of the literary world passes away, thus our loss was great when Mordecai Richler died 8 years ago. Fortunately, he left a rich legacy for all to enjoy including The Apprenticeship of Duddy Cravats, and especially for children the Jacob Two-Two stories.

    We're told that Richler had always intended to continue the adventures of his pint-size hero, Jacob, but for a while it seemed that was not to be. Now, fully supported by the Richler family award winning author Cary Fagan (Ten Old Men and a Mouse, My New Shirt) brings Jacob to life again in an enchanting sea-worthy tale winningly illustrated by Dusan Petricic.

    Jacob, we remember, is a boy to whom young readers can easily relate. He was given his rather odd name because he has two older brothers and two older sisters, his age was two plus two plus two years, and "...because nobody in his family ever heard him the first time, so he had to say everything two times." Jacob didn't like his name at all. Further, his birthday was approaching and he feared since he would no longer be Two-Two his brothers and sisters would take great pleasure in teasing him by renaming his "Jacob Two-Two Plus One."

    The only way he could think of to avoid this was to somehow see that his family forgot his birthday. That was quite a sacrifice because he wouldn't receive any presents, yet he was willing to do that, but how?

    Luckily for him his father had news - the family would be moving from England to Canada and would be crossing the ocean on a ship. Since there were no more tickets on the Queen Elizabeth 11 they'd be going on the SS Spring-a-Leak.

    Jacob meets may interesting new friends on board ship but there's trouble on the horizon in the form of a ship flying the Jolly Roger! How could one small boy possibly deal with pirates?

    Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas is a more than welcome gift for young readers.


    - Gail Cooke

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