Illustrated by Ted Rand
Non-Fiction and Fiction Picture Book
Ages 5 to 8
North-South Books, 2001
Dagmar, Albert, Ena, and Matilda have the kind of life many children would love to have: the live on a boat for much of the year. Their father is the captain of the John Ena which carries cargo to ports all over the world. Much of the time the children and their mother are able to travel on the John Ena and while they are on board they have a pretty interesting time. One of the things that the children do - in addition to having their lessons with their mother and father and governess– is taking care of all the animals that live with them. They have a cat, a dog, chickens, and they have even had a mongoose, a monkey, a kangaroo and a pig on board.
The children also learn a lot about sailing, navigation, and other things that help make them good sailors. They are good friends with the crew who keep an eye on the children and who do all kinds of things for the children including playing games with them and making them special treats.
There can be no doubt that readers will find this book fascinating. Many will wish that they too could live on a ship that sails across wide oceans and goes to interesting countries. Based on the real life experiences of Captain Mads Albert Andersen and his family, this is a picture of a way of life that is now, unfortunately, a thing of the past.
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