Cover image for Tattered sails
Tattered sails
Kay, Verla.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam's, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Illustrations and simple rhyming text depict the journey of a family from London to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.4 0.5 54343.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



With dreams of a better life for themselves, Thomas, Edward, Mary Jane, and their parents say goodbye to the only home they have ever known. They leave crowded, dirty London behind for good when they board a ship that promises to take them across the wide Atlantic Ocean to the colonies. The long, treacherous journey is filled with uncertainty, and readers will cheer when this brave family takes their first wobbly steps in the New World.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. This tale, modeled on the experiences of a real family, follows a pilgrim family crossing from England to America to find a new life. Thomas, Edward, and Mary Jane leave the crowded, crime-filled streets of London with their parents to make a treacherous journey across the Atlantic. The voyage is rough, with stormy seas and seasick children, crowded conditions, tainted food and water. But the pilgrims survive and start a hard but more peaceful life in the new land. Kay's short, rhyming text, only a few words per page, conveys both the dire conditions of the journey ("Hardtack dwindles, / Fresh fish sought. / Long lines, fishing, / `Nothing caught'") and the new, better life ("Mother resting, / Baby born. / Local natives / Sharing corn"). Andreasen's paintings catch all the drama of the journey and the relief at journey's end. A good book for discussion in both language arts and history lessons. --Helen Rosenberg

Publisher's Weekly Review

Verla Kay employs the format she used to such strong effect in Gold Fever and Covered Wagons, Bumpy Trails to describe the journey to the New World in Tattered Sails. Dan Andreason's dimly lit illustrations depict the land they're leaving and the ship's hold, as well as the home awaiting them: "One room cabin,/ Rush beds, soft./ Greased cloth windows,/ Ladder, loft." ( Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Taut, rhythmic text and absorbing illustrations perfectly capture the excitement, beauty, and hardships of one family's voyage from London to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635. The journey from "London crowded,/Choked with crime" to the "Freedom, fresh air" of the New World is portrayed in full-page illustrations using graphite drawings, textured oil paints, a computer, stencils, and carved erasers as stamps. With a palette rich in soft blues, greens, and browns, China-doll-like people are set into scenes that echo either the fury of a hurricane or the tranquility of a balmy day. The concise, carefully chosen rhyme is attractively boxed on one page of each spread. This handsome offering makes a fine read-aloud.-Diane S. Marton, Arlington County Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.