Cook's Cook: The Cook Who Cooked for Captain Cook
Cook's Cook: The Cook Who Cooked for Captain Cook
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Annotation: A lavishly illustrated depiction of James Cook's 1768 journey aboard the H.M.S. Endeavour is told from the perspective of his one-handed cook, John Thompson, who shares real galley recipes and on-board stories about how the voyage was affected by social class, hierarchy, and race.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #164855
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Gecko Press
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-7765-7204-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-7765-7204-5
Dewey: 921
Dimensions: 26 x 31 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In summer of 1768, the HMS Endeavor sails out of England with a crew of men aboard and Captain James Cook in command. As they make for the South Pacific, one-handed ship's cook John Thompson narrates, examining the voyage through the food he prepares for the crew. As they travel south from Brazil toward Patagonia, the men catch several albatross, which Thompson serves with prune sauce and ginger. In April, when they reach Tahiti, he whips up a dog and breadfruit stew. By the time they reach the Great Barrier Reef, in the summer of 1770, he's experimenting with turtle soup. Alas, this is an ill-fated journey; most of the crew, including Thompson, succumb to disease ("I now use a very small pot for the pease porridge"). As legend has it, the souls of the men who died turn to seabirds, accompanying the remaining men home. Striking woodcut-style illustrations provide a glimpse into the ups and downs of seafaring life, and Thompson himself offers wry dialogue asides. A unique take on a historical voyage.
Horn Book
Bishop packs a lot of historical detail into this (fictionalized) diary account of life aboard explorer Captain James Cook's ship Endeavor, from the perspective of the ship's cook Thomas Richmond ("likely...a freed slave from Jamaica"). The acrylic and ink drawings, in muted greens, blues, and off-whites, contain speech bubbles; sidebars provide supplementary information and very basic recipes. It's somewhat hard to follow but engaging.
Kirkus Reviews
With one arm and a hook, John Thompson cooked for the seamen of Lt. James Cook's scientific expedition to the South Seas from 1768 to 1771.New Zealand author/illustrator Bishop offers a crew's-eye view of an early 'round-the-world voyage that sailed from Plymouth, England, across the Atlantic to South America, rounded Cape Horn, circumnavigated New Zealand, and sailed along the coasts of New Holland (Australia), Java, and West Africa before returning to England three years later. The information begins with a front-endpaper cross-section of the overcrowded HMS Endeavour and continues chronologically, as much in the blue-green-and-sepia-toned spreads as in the journallike text. Speech bubbles contain comments from the cook; on torn-parchment insets readers find printed recipes including "seared shark steaks," "dog and breadfruit stew," "poor knights pudding," and the ubiquitous pease porridge. The watercolor-and-acrylic-ink images show the provisions, the sailors at work, the scientists and their servants (including at least one freed slave), scenery, wildlife, and a culminating map of the voyage. Two black servants represent the only people of color depicted aboard the Endeavour; the rest of the crew, including Thompson, present white. Only 56 of the 94 people onboard returned to England; Thompson himself dies before they reach South Africa and follows the rest of the journey as a sea gull—or so the crew believed. No sources are supplied, and libraries beware: The cover flaps obscure interesting facts.Appealing illustrations and the lure of an insider's account make this a delectable adventure. (Informational picture book. 7-10)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (10/1/18)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: K-3
Lexile: 860L

Cook's Cook follows the 1768 journey of James Cook's H.M.S. Endeavour with his ship's cook, the one-handed John Thompson, as story teller. Through real recipes from the ship's galley, events on board and the places the ship traveled on its way to the Pacific, the book tells multiple stories. Here are stories of social class, hierarchy and race; stories of explorers and the people of the land; the story of one of the world's most famous explorers told through a fresh new lens. This beautiful book is full of information drawn from extensive research alongside evocative illustrations, released to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the Endeavour 's journey. -- "Website"

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