Cover image for The great ships
The great ships
O'Brien, Patrick, 1960-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Walker & Company, [2001]

Physical Description:
39 pages : color illustrations ; 24 x 30 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 6.4 1.0 59494.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library VM150 .O25 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
Newstead Library VM150 .O25 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Angola Public Library VM150 .O25 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clarence Library VM150 .O25 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library VM150 .O25 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Crane Branch Library VM150 .O25 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library VM150 .O25 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library VM150 .O25 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library VM150 .O25 2001 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Here is a collective "biography" of the greatest ships the world has ever known. Since the time people first ventured into the oceans in their primitive boats and rafts, the sea has been a source of adventure, travel, exploration, and glory. Countless vessels have traveled the seas-ships of all shapes and sizes-carrying hopes and dreams, conquerors and pilgrims, traders and explorers. Their names and their stories, carried down through history, remain as vibrant and alive as the people who sailed them. Patrick O'Brien profiles twenty of the world's greatest ships, including the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria; the Mayflower; Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge; the Bounty; "Old Ironsides"; the Amistad; the Monitor; the Titanic; and a fleet of others. These are ships that have made their mark through triumph, through tragedy, or sometimes simply by being in the right place at the right time. Patrick O'Brien's in-depth research and unparalleled skill with a paintbrush bring them to life on the page. Climb aboard and experience some of the magic and excitement that made these ships the greatest in maritime history.

Author Notes

Patrick O'Brien is the author and illustrator of nine books for children. Mr. O'Brien lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife and son.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. O'Brien, whose previous books include Steam, Smoke, and Steel (2000), offers a handsome volume that focuses on individual ships of historical significance. Each spread introduces one vessel, from the Viking Gokstad ship, uncovered in 1880 after lying buried for a thousand years, to the Enterprise, an aircraft carrier launched in 1960 and still part of the U.S. Navy. Most of the 17 entries feature British and American ships, with the age of sail well represented. More unusual subjects include a fifteenth-century Chinese junk, Cheng Ho's "treasure ship," and the Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine. Each spread includes a few paragraphs of basic information, a full-page painting of the ship or ships, a small painting or map, and a delicate, sepia-ink drawing of the vessel. Richly colored, the paintings often feature dramatic effects of light on sea, sky, and sail. Useful for introductory information, this volume is also a visual feast for would-be seafarers to savor. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-8-O'Brien tells the stories of 17 of the world's most illustrious vessels (or groups of vessels). Delivered in a more or less chronological order, the text offers brief information about each of the celebrated ships, describing the events or sea captains that made them famous. The author includes accounts of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind, Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, Columbus's trio of Spanish caravels, and the disaster-destined Titanic. A double-page spread is devoted to each story, with a dramatic watercolor-and-gouache illustration on the left and history on the right. Spot-art outline drawings and a painting or map also decorate each spread. While there is no table of contents or index, the last spread is devoted to a few lines about the fate of the individual ships. The endpapers are decorated with line drawings of all the ships, depicting their comparative size. O'Brien has combined his fascina- tion for the topic with his background in naval architecture to create a captivating and beautiful volume for any collection.-Be Astengo, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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