Cover image for Sailing home : a story of a childhood at sea
Sailing home : a story of a childhood at sea
Rand, Gloria.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : North-South Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (some color) ; 23 x 27 cm
Captain Madsen's four children fondly recall their exciting experiences sailing with their father and mother on the bark John Ena at the turn of the twentieth century.
General Note:
"A Cheshire Studio book."
Reading Level:
810 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.6 0.5 54442.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.1 2 Quiz: 32569 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Little Books

On Order



Captain Madsen's four children fondly recall their exciting experiences sailing with their father and mother on the bark John Ena at the turn of the twentieth century.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. Between 1896 and 1910, Captain Madsen commanded the four-masted sailing bark John Ena, carrying cargo around the world. With him sailed his wife and four children. This fictional first-person narrative is based on Madsen's journal. The ship was an adventurous and surprisingly comfortable home, complete with pink marble fireplace. A governess taught the children history, science, and math, but their father taught them astronomy, celestial navigation, and semaphore code. From the fear of sinking during a storm to the joy of celebrating Christmas, this briskly told story recounts a cheerful, child-centered view of life on board a sailing ship. The tone is reflected in Rand's colorful illustrations, lively scenes of children and their surroundings, drawn in a looser style than one usually associates with the artist. Photos of the Madsens and the John Ena are appended, along with an afterword discussing the Madsens' life on the ship and the sources for the text and illustrations. --Carolyn Phelan

Publisher's Weekly Review

With emotional range and plenty of historical detail, this picture book follows four children who grow up sailing the oceans on the John Ena, a four-masted cargo ship for which their father is captain. Young Matilda narrates the days when "every morning we woke up far away from where we'd gone to sleep." Working from the journal of the Madsens, a real 19th-century seafaring family, the Rands (Baby in a Basket) pack the pages with remarkable facts. Balls bounce overboard, so Matilda and her siblings play catch on deck with beanbags instead. The family buys gifts for Christmas and birthdays months ahead of time on long voyages. And when the seas grow rough, they must tie furniture to the walls and secure it to the floor. The book carries readers from cheerful anecdotes about pets and games to a gripping description of the heroism of the children's parents when their ship broaches (rolls onto its side): "Neither of them showed any panic or fear, and that made us children feel brave, too." Skillfully drafted watercolor spreads often show action at an angle to convey the sense of the ship pitching on the waves, and suggest a life of constant motion. An afterword with period photographs describes the Madsens' post-oceangoing life. Even landlocked readers will feel the pull of the high seas in this suspenseful memoir. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

RYAN, Pam Mu-oz. Mice and Beans. illus. by Joe Cepeda. unpaged. glossary. Scholastic. 2001. RTE $15.95. ISBN 0-439-18303-0. LC 00-058379. K-Gr 2-As a loving grandmother prepares for her youngest grandchild's seventh birthday, the smallest residents of her casita follow her through each successive weekday, taking the necessities for their own celebration and watching over her. The energetic Rosa Mar'a is a loving, unselfish, and hardworking woman, but her forgetfulness allows her to attribute missing items to her own behavior. The text, interspersed with Spanish expressions, appears on vivid full-page illustrations, creatively drawn from a mouse's perspective. This imaginative and artistic book combines richly colored and angled illustrations with a variety of text fonts and sizes. Cepeda adds detail and expression to the smallest objects and inhabitants of Rosa Mar'a's casita-even the turkey pi-ata seems alive. A treat for young listeners.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.