Moby Dick: Chasing the Great White Whale

( 1 )



Come with us aboard the Pequod.

We search for Moby Dick,

 the Great White Whale!

Along with Captain Ahab,

you?ll meet ...

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Come with us aboard the Pequod.

We search for Moby Dick,

 the Great White Whale!

Along with Captain Ahab,

you’ll meet danger face to face,

hunting the fiercest creature

the seas have ever known!

Are you brave enough—

and bold enough—

for the adventure of your life?

The award-winning author and illustrator team of Eric A. Kimmel and Andrew Glass introduce a new generation of readers to a magnificent and memorable retelling of Herman Melville’s masterpiece, Moby Dick.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kimmel (Even Higher!) works hard to make this classic accessible to young readers, distilling Melville’s sprawling epic into sturdy ballad-style verse: “Then Captain Ahab came on deck./ What happened to his leg?/ T’was bitten off by Moby Dick./ That’s why the whalebone peg.” Glass’s splendid spreads soften the story’s brutish aspects, which remain grim in Kimmel’s retelling: one attempt to kill Moby Dick drowns a seaman, and the next drowns Captain Ahab and the rest of the crew—all but Ishmael (“I heard the sighs and groans/ of all my friends and shipmates/ going down to Davy Jones”). Glass bathes everything in brilliant sunshine, painting the churning sea with aquas and greens and giving the white whale a sense of enormous bulk and strength. With their red noses and lumpy bodies, the seamen appear ridiculous in comparison to the majestic animal, giving weight to Ishmael’s concluding comment: “Respect all creatures, great and small, and leave the whales alone!” Parents should vet before reading aloud to sensitive children; for the stout of heart, it’s a fine introduction to the story. Ages 4–6. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"...this rollicking yarn with its splendid art will serve as a stand-alone introduction.”—School Library Journal


"Kimmel make[s] this classic accessible to young readers.”—Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
Ishmael, a sailor aboard the whaling ship Pequod, serves as the lucky narrator of the tale of Captain Ahab and his quest to find the elusive great white whale and exact revenge for his missing leg. While most of the crew eventually fall victim to Ahab's obsession and the whale's ferocity, Ishmael alone survives to perpetuate the myth. Herman Melville's legendary and lengthy tome is beautifully encapsulated in a jaunty rhyme sprinkled with historical and nautical terms. An author's note gives further information about the story in addition to Melville's own story. There is also a glossary for some of the more unusual words. The illustrations lavishly fill each spread, evoking thoughts of the monstrous beast while the cross-hatching and grain echo the creature's skin, and the choppy movement of the waves even when the action is taking place on dry land. This is a wonderful, short-attention-span-friendly addition to any library. Reviewer: Amy McMillan
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Magnificent paintings in oil and pencil accompany a jaunty retelling in verse of the classic novel. Recounted in the first person by Ishmael, the text, with the lilt of a sea chantey, captures the essence of the original plot, though the rhyme scheme occasionally falters. Whaling lingo such as "Leviathan" and "parmacetti" gives an authentic flavor to the tale and is well defined in the glossary. This bare-bones version is all action with little ability to develop any thematic subtlety or character motivation, but all the elements are in place, including the suitably fierce Captain Ahab. The large format dramatically showcases the sheer majesty of Glass's impressionistic paintings, especially his depiction of Moby Dick, whose white shape rises from the depths and overflows the page, emphasizing his enormity while his all-knowing red eye slyly follows the preparations of the whalers. And the whalers are an appropriately colorful, rough-looking lot with bulbous noses and protruding stomachs. The composition is carefully crafted to make the most of the drama-the scenes of the small boat juxtaposed against the white blur of the behemoth are especially effective. Even the endpapers impress with an image of Moby Dick subliminally superimposed on a map of the world. While it may be many years before the audience will pick up the original work, this rollicking yarn with its splendid art will serve as a stand-alone introduction. Back matter includes information on Melville and the writing of Moby Dick.—Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Melville's classic gets a lush, if wildly oversimplified, retelling under its author's generally sure hand. Call him Ishmael. To rhyming verse, one lad's adventures on the Pequod are retold in brief, generally accurate detail. Readers meet the harpooner Queequeg (ambiguous ethnicity and tattooed head intact), the obsessed Ahab (red eyes matching that of the titular whale's) and the crew. Ahab challenges his men to spot the leviathan, and after much searching, they find it, marking the beginning of the end for the Pequod and its crew. Kimmel's rhymes scan with clarity from the start, and he has a genius for synthesizing the loquacious storyline down to its plot essentials. A pity he chooses to end the retelling with the simplistic and wholly un-Melville-ian lesson, "The moral of this story is, / as my sad tale has shown: / Respect all creatures, great and small, / and leave the whales alone!" The high point of the title turns out to be Glass' art. His oil-and-pencil illustrations create a white whale hide interlaced with the scars of countless harpooners, his sheer girth a towering mountain of angry flesh. Readers will have little difficulty understanding the awe inspired by such a creature. For a bare-bones retelling of the original's plot, this has no equal. Just don't expect any more than that. (author's note, glossary) (Picture book. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312662974
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,408,833
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric A. Kimmel is the author of over a hundred books for children. He and his wife live in Portland, Oregon, only a two-hour drive from the ocean, where they watch the migration of the gray whales every year.

Andrew Glass is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the Newbery Honor books Graven Images: Three Stories by Paul Fleischman and The Wish Giver: Three Tales of Coven Tree by Bill Brittain. Andrew lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2013

    ¿Call me Ishmael,¿ the story begins as the boy hero heads for Ne

    “Call me Ishmael,” the story begins as the boy hero heads for New Bedford town, “a-whalin’ for to go.” It’s the adventure of a lifetime told in verse reflecting the 1-2-3 rhythms of working sea shanties of old. Eric distills the story to its emotive core as one by one Ishmael meets the ill-fated crew of the Pequod: the tattooed harpooner Queenqueg,  Starbuck, Stubb, and Flash, and the rest of ‘a jolly crew.”  
    Then, can’t we just hear the booming baritone foreshadowing doom as Captain Ahab comes on deck! The one-legged captain is red-eyed, driven by revenge. The sailors’ fate is sealed as the Captain and the Pequod chase the great white, Moby Dick.  they:“ … scanned the ocean day by day/ for any whale in sight./ We spied some blue and gray ones, too,/ but not a single white./”

    The rhythm of the sea shanty rises and falls and rises with the action, in tune with the lush, rich oil and pencil illustrations by Andrew Glass. And then, the great white whale, Moby Dick, rises out of the depths in a dynamic two-page spread. The Pequod faces its destiny and the narrator ends with a warning, “The moral of this story is,/ as my sad tale has shown:/ Respect all creatures, great and small,/ and leave the whales alone!”Eric includes a history of the story in a detailed author’s note as well as a glossary of terms.

    A great, great read aloud!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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