Mocha Dick: The Legend and Fury
"A tour de force of design, story and illustration." - Kirkus Starred Review In 1839, Herman Melville was among the New Yorkers who thrilled to a magazine account of a white sperm whale's attacks on whaling ships. That whale was named Mocha Dick, but 12 years later, he would be immortalized in fiction as Moby-Dick. Believed to have been active from 1810 to 1859, Mocha Dick was infamous for the ferocity of his retaliations against those who attempted to capture him. From the first recorded encounter near the South American island of Mocha till the fatal harpoon blow, Mocha Dick was a legend in his own time. In language befitting a sea lore, author Brain Heinz describes characteristic episodes of the great whale's life, as illustrator Randall Enos animates the tale in a textured style evocative of scrimshaw.
- Hardback | 32 pages
- 218 x 307 x 10mm | 476g
- 19 Aug 2014
- Creative Editions
- Illustrations, unspecified
"For nearly 50 years, a huge albino sperm whale spotted off Isla Mocha (whence the name Mocha Dick) antagonized whalers by aggressively attacking and evading their ships, and tales of this legendary leviathan went on to inspire Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. Heinz and Enos dramatize a few accounts of Mocha Dick's activity in this beautifully designed picture book. When whalers spot Mocha Dick in 1810 and he handily escapes their harpoons, the sailors already note his scarred appearance. From then on, reports of an unstoppable white whale attacking whalers and even preventing dead whales from being brought aboard continue to roll in until 1859, when Mocha Dick is reported dead. Enos' linocut illustrations are simply stunning-each mesmerizing, scrimshaw-like composition contains a jumble of textures and brassy colors in each thrilling scene, from the concentric loops of a roiling sea to the rough, jagged shape of a crushed hull. The whale appears both vicious and mischievous, adding an extra dose of drama to Heinz' descriptive lines. While a list of sources or further reading would have been useful, most kiddos will be utterly entranced by the folk art-style illustrations, which seem to tell the story enough on their own." -Sarah Hunter, Booklist Starred Review---
About Brian Heinz
Brian Heinz is the critically acclaimed author of 15 books for young readers and is sought after as a speaker on the craft of writing. He and his wife Judy split their time between homes in New York's Wading River and the Adirondacks. Randall Enos has illustrated for books, magazines, and newspapers for more than 50 years. Born of Portugeuse Azorean heritage in the former whaling capital of the world (New Bedford, Massachusetts), he has carried with him a lifelong interest in the history of whaling.