LAND HO! by Nancy Winslow Parker


Fifty Glorious Years in the Age of Exploration
Age Range: 6 - 9
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In a brisk overview of one of the most progressive 50-year spans in human history that aims to be both entertaining and instructive, Winslow presents brief, highly illustrated portrayals of 12 major explorers, from Columbus’s first voyage in 1492 to Cabrillo’s in 1542. Front matter includes details of Columbus’s Niña and a group picture of all 12 men lined up in no particular order. Back matter illustrates typical ships’ stores and navigational instruments. Each explorer gets a concise double-page treatment that highlights his major achievements and a map of his voyage of exploration. With these exceptions, the type of information provided changes somewhat from explorer to explorer, which can be regarded as a weakness in consistency or an asset to engaging variety. Information, some pertinent and important and some merely entertaining trivia, is given in both text and sidebars. Each map contains an inset showing a detail of the area of the New World explored. Most show merely the direction from which the explorer sailed rather than that voyage’s point of origin, and often simply trace the journey taken once the New World is reached. Most maps trace the voyages of other explorers, which gives a sense of the interconnectedness of this short but seismic period during which explorers were often aware of each other and their achievements. The most interesting maps contain sidebars of information about the events within the voyage itself. There is recognition of the often-disastrous impact of European contact on existing societies. Although Winslow’s trademark cartoon style does not pretend to portraiture, the presentation of indigenous peoples is somewhat homogeneous as they are depicted in feathered headdress and loin cloth with, for the most part, bland, pleasant expressions. Although there is an index, this would be more useful and successful when viewed as an enjoyable introduction to the era than as an aide to report-writing. (Nonfiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-027759-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2001


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