Whale Port: Whale Portby 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, 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.
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
"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
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 23 MB
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- 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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