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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Review-Legendary Journeys:Ships

Lavery, Brian. 2011. Legendary Journeys: Ships. Kingfisher, New York.

My son received an awesome Christmas present from his grandparents, a fully illustrated children's book about ships!! "The slide-out, lift-up, see-through story of world famous ships and voyages" is perfect for introducing maritime history to children, particularly Kindergarten through 5th graders. This book is written by Brian Lavery, a well-known maritime historian who received a Maritime Media Award in 2007 and the Society for Nautical Research's Anderson Medal in 2008.


One of the best aspects of this book (from my grown-up perspective) is the wide chronological range and thorough discussion of a variety of ships. Although prehistoric boats are not mentioned, the development of water-going vessels throughout history are accurately portrayed and described. That is another thing I love about this book. The pictures with the slide out pages truly capture the ratios of many of these vessels. The Titanic at 175 feet high and about 883 feet long has a ratio of about 1:5 (length to beam ration 1:10) and this length is definitely captured in the slide out panels.



The major development in shipbuilding technology are also captured-with details about the sailing developments in the Age of Exploration and technological developments in the Age of Steam. Lavery also includes Naval maritime developments. And he talks about both historical and modern ports, a topic that sometimes gets left out of illustrated ship books.





In addition to being academically accurate, Lavery uses language that can be understood by kids. He describes cool stuff like dragon figureheads, while also describing more difficult topics, such as the slave trade, and does so in a straight-forward non-graphic way. It was definitely a fun and easy read! I read a mommy abridged version to my 2 year old and he loved it as well. I look forward to the day when he can read and explore this book all by himself!




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Maritime Culture by Whitney Rose Petrey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License