Whale Port: Whale Port by Mark Foster, Gerald L. Foster |, NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Whale Port: Whale Port

Whale Port: Whale Port

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by Mark Foster, Gerald L. Foster
     
 

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Long before the invention of electricity or the discovery of underground reservoirs of fossil fuels, people depended on whale oil to keep their lamps lit. A few brave Colonial farmers left their fields and headed out to sea to chase whales and profits farther and farther off shore. When they did, towns sprung up around their harbors as demand grew for sailors,

Overview

Long before the invention of electricity or the discovery of underground reservoirs of fossil fuels, people depended on whale oil to keep their lamps lit. A few brave Colonial farmers left their fields and headed out to sea to chase whales and profits farther and farther off shore. When they did, towns sprung up around their harbors as demand grew for sailors, blacksmiths, ropewalkers, and the many other craftsmen needed to support the growing whaling industry. Through the fictional village of Tuckanucket, Whale Port explores the history of these towns. Detailed illustrations and an informative narrative reveal the way Tuckanucket’s citizens lived and worked by sharing the personal stories of people like Zachariah Taber, his family and neighbors, and the place they called home. Whale Port is also the story of America, and the important role whales played in its history and development as people worked together to build communities that not only survived, but prospered and grew into the flourishing cities of a new nation.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
This comprehensive tale traces the history of whaling in the New England colonies from 1663-1880. Extensive research on the author's part has produced a quality text about whaling methods and life in a whaling town. The story is successful in part because it is based on the fictional whale port of Tuckanucket and centered on a make-believe Taber family. In addition, the story works because it brings to life everyday happenings of the time period such as shipbuilding, trading, blacksmithing, candle making, and more. Details about hardship in the settlement, such as fire and flooding are intertwined with successful whale hunts and history of the new colonies. Readers can glean an immense amount of information from the text and the detailed, labeled illustrations. Coverage of such a large time period does necessitate leaving out some years. One awkward leap comes with news of the War of 1812 followed by a jump to 1820. If the book is used in the classroom, teachers can fill in the "between" years with other sources. Still, the book is enriching enough to be enjoyed outside the classroom setting. Sidebars add many facts to the already-informative text. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
The fictional village of Tuckanucket comes alive as the author follows the history of the whaling town from 1683, when English colonists settled there, to modern days and the establishment of a museum and a thriving whale-watching business. The story is told primarily through the experiences of the Taber family who live in the area through good times and bad. Young students will learn much about the village and the whaling business and they will also gain an understanding of how circumstances change and how folks adjust and create new opportunities. This book includes the general history of the period and shows how the lives of residents of Tuckanucket are changed as petroleum replaces whale oil as a source of energy. The architectural backgrounds of both author and illustrator shine through in the detailed text and pictures. The illustrations will amuse and educate kids as they read this story with interest. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8 The Fosters present the history of a fictitious whaling town, from its founding in 1683 to its revival as a modern-day coastal city. After describing the villagers' discovery of beached whales and their uses for the oil and baleen, the book traces the beginnings and growth of the whaling industry and its importance to the development of New England towns. Tuckanucket expanded and prospered through the years, overcoming setbacks including war and a devastating fire. When whaling ended in the early 1900s, much of the waterfront was abandoned, until residents took charge, revitalizing the area by creating a museum and offering whale-watching trips. The text reads smoothly and is packed with information. The fine pen-and-watercolor scenes are perfectly suited to the subject matter and successfully depict each era. Cutaway views show the insides of buildings and illustrate each structure's purpose. The roles of specialized workers are fully described, and detailed captions provide explanations of procedures such as constructing an oil cask, making rope, and processing a whale. The time-line format is appealing, and the narrative gives a real sense of the changes New England whaling ports have faced through the years and the diverse individuals who helped build them. This handsome title is an excellent choice for both curricular and recreational use.-Lynne Mattern, Robert Seaman School, Jericho, NY

Kirkus Reviews
The story of the fictional New England town of Tuckanucket from 1683 to the present entwines story threads of whaling and the growth of the new nation. The appealing format of this volume, reminiscent of David Macaulay and Arthur Geisert's best work, blends large-scale colorful art and an abundance of information. When residents of Tuckanucket realize that their future is on the sea, not on the farm, the consequent growth of their town and the whaling industry, portrayed in depth, makes fascinating reading. The Fosters present the contributions of Native Americans and African-Americans in a forthright work with many possible curricular connections. A list of websites would have been useful, as would a guide to other books on the subject for young readers, such as Jim Murphy's Gone A-Whaling (1998) and Patricia and Fredrick McKissack's Black Hands, White Sails (1999), but this may be the most interesting work on the subject to date. (Nonfiction. 9-14)
From the Publisher
[A]ppealing format...colorful art and an abundance of information...this may be the most interesting work on the subject to date.
—Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews

"The Fosters, father and son, have elegantly synthesized a tremendous amount of information into a beguiling format." The Horn Book, Starred, Nov/Dec 2007 Horn Book, Starred

"This handsome title is an excellent choice for both curricular and recreational use." SLJ November 2007 School Library Journal

"A fascinating testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of the country's North Atlantic communities."—Booklist 12/1/07 Booklist, ALA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547529394
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/24/2007
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
64
File size:
23 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Formerly vice president and partner of the Architects Collaborative, the famous firm founded by Walter Gropius, Gerald Foster has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Boston Architectural Center as well as the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His paintings and drawings have been exhibited at the DeCordova Museum and at various galleries. His books include A Field Guide to Airplanes, A Field Guide to Trains, and American Houses: A Field Guide.

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