WOODEN SHIP by Jan Adkins


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Nice pictures, but oh such an overload of words. Meet the Ingalls brothers of New Bedford, Mass., Quaker ""men of God and men of business"": ""Today they are discussing the advantages of adding another vessel to their fleet. Pros and cons discussed, cash investment weighed against sure returns, the temper of the times accounted for, they decide: yes, a full-rigged whaleship to be built in Fairhaven, across the river from where they stand."" Before we can get on with the building, we learn that it doesn't take shape ""all at once,"" like a painting or a sculpture (as if someone thought it did); that the ""skill began six thousand years ago"" (""a skill passed from one man to another. . ."") that designing one is ""a great responsibility""; and so on--by turns reverently, didactically, lyrically draining the reader's interest. And should one skip the preliminaries and proceed to the construction, he will find a steady supply of unfamiliar--and, often, inessential--marine terminology (keelson, dubbers, trunnels, etc.) that piles up faster than it can be absorbed. All of which restricts this small-print, large-format book to children old enough for, say, Edwin Tunis, who goes about these matters far more adroitly.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1978
ISBN: 093782285X
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin