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Michael Murray
Illustrated by Ivan Murphy
Hal ifax, Nimbus Publishing with the Nova Scotia Museum,
1993. 48pp, paper, $12.95, ISBN 1-55109-064-3. CIP

Kindergarten-grade 6 / Ages 5-11

Reviewed by Hugh A. Cook

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May/June

This is a fanciful tale about the anchors on display at the Maritime Museum in Nova Scotia. Sean and Robin are two reluctant companions of Caitlin one Saturday morning. She has decided to visit the Maritime Museum, while the other two are more interested in play than looking at old junk.

They come upon Nicole Mosher, a researcher, who says she is trying to get an achor to talk. Although Robin scoffs at the idea of an anchor talking, he is hooked by the idea and finally agrees to help with her efforts. Captain Bowe, one of the workers at the museum, joins them and suggests that the story the anchor might tell would go something like this....

Although there is no great adventure in this story one does get some sense of how important anchors were and are to the seamen. The real strength of this book, however, is the illustrations. Ivan Murphy the illustrator, uses a mischievous gull, Admiral Rat and a gang of pirate seals to enliven the pages. Children should be quite interested in trying to locate the various characters, deciding what they are doing in each illustration, and how these zany characters are used to complement the story line.

The book includes a glossary of nautical terms used throughout the story. Every page has a colour illustration, and the paper is a good quality glossy that should wear well.

Each time I went through the book I discovered somethinge else new and/or amusing in the illustrations. This would be a delightful book to instil an interest in items of antiquity.

Hugh A. Cook (Maple, Ontario) is a retired North York librarian

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