My Ocean Liner: Across the North Atlantic on the Great Ship Normandie

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Part travelogue, part nostalgic ramble through the heyday of great ocean liners, this story shoehorns a fair amount of information into a simple chapter book about a five-day trip across the Atlantic. It's April 1939, and nine-year-old Paul and his parents set off from Manhattan to France and England aboard the Normandie, the queen of the famous French Line. From the family's well-appointed cabin (the Deauville suite, complete with a baby grand piano) to the elegant dining room and the pampering by their steward and stewardess, readers will know that this is a voyage in grand style. Mandel (Say Hey!) inserts a mild mystery subplot involving a missing boy--the hunt for whom allows Paul a chance to tour areas normally off-limits to passengers, such as the bridge and the engine room. While this device helps propel the story, it also points up its main flaw: nothing much happens. However, MacDonald's (Scarecrowell) carefully researched watercolors (at least one per spread) provide charming period window dressing, and the narrative offers an appealing glimpse of a bygone shipboard life. Ages 7-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Join Paul and his family along with Pascal, Nicole and Robert as they journey from New York to La Havre, France on the great ocean liner Normandie. Peter Mandel has done a beautiful job recapturing young Paul's enthusiasm and charm in this first person, fictional account. As readers, we get to see through Paul's eyes how such a ship, 1,000 feet long and holding 1800 passengers, amazes him and fills him with a sense of wonder. Follow along as Paul visits the bridge, steers the ship, sees the engine room. By writing in the language of a young child and using such excellent illustrations, Mandel and MacDonald create a wonderful story for the young and inexperienced reader. Especially nice is the ending, which provides a context to the story outside the confines of the ship. Included in the book is a glossary of the nautical terms used in the story, making a very useful classroom book. 2000, Stemmer House Publishers, $16.95. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: John D. Orsborn
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880451499
  • Publisher: Stemmer House Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 1,508,551
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.02 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.24 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2001

    A Great Ocean Adventure

    My Ocean Liner is a superb choice, for either kids or grown-ups. The best children's books always seem to have adventure at their core, and this charmingly illustrated story brings to life the wonder and excitement of a small boy who sails the Atlantic on a classic ocean liner. Readers will find themselves happily at sea aboard the Normandie--probably the most magnificent ship ever built--and absorbed in a nautical mystery that deepens as the ship braves wind, waves and storms and nears safe harbor along the coast of France. An extra plus is the book's introduction to easy French words and seafaring facts of all sorts. A must for those who like boats and a good book too.

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