________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 13 . . . . March 1, 2002

cover Captain Jenny & the Sea of Wonders.

Duncan Thornton. Illustrated by Yves Noblet.
Regina, SK: Coteau Books, 2001.
291 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 1-55050-194-1.

Subject Heading:
Women sea captains-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5 and up / Ages 10 and up.

Review by Tony Payzant.

***1/2 /4

exerpt:

But it was then that she recovered herself, became Jenny proud and wordy once again. "For they think I am merely a helpless fisher-girl," she said, discounting that I am also a spirited Explorer, hand-chosen by an emissary of the King Beneath the Sea; and they believe you are only an old man with one leg, whereas in fact you are a grizzled sailor of vast experience. And Sparky, he is faithful beyond words, even if he seems timid.

The Cook looked around at the flotsam on the beach: the wrecked mast and broken manger and tangled bits of rigging from the Ruggles, and the odd piece of driftwood. He made a kind of grin. "We'll build a boat, then," he said.

Indomitable Jenny! Having been given a Call to Adventure by a magical otter, she assumes command of a ship and a crusty crew of sailors, and sets sail (and oars) for the Sea of Wonders, in search of the Lost City. In the course of their quest, they endure fearsome travails- shipwrecks, pirates, sirens, man-eating monsters and a Mad Philosopher.

     This is Duncan Thornton's second sea adventure tale; it follows Kalifax, the saga of Jenny's friend Tom's adventures on the high seas. Captain Jenny & the Sea of Wonders is an exciting nautical fantasy, told with an old-fashioned eloquence and wit. Jenny is an excellent hero - an outspoken and courageous girl much in the spirit of Pippi Longstocking and Lewis Carroll's Alice, she regretfully abstains from a skipping rope session, as such activity would ill befit the dignity of a sea captain in view of her crew. The ten black and white illustrations by Yves Noblet have a compelling, dream-like quality (although the oarsmen unaccountably face forward!), and the book's design is very attractive, indeed. This high-spirited, magical adventure is a rare gem of a book.

Highly Recommended.

Tony Payzant is a content editor living in Dartmouth, NS.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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