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*The Mutiny on the Bounty* by Patrick O'Brien
The Mutiny on the Bounty
by Patrick O'Brien
Grades K-3 40 pages Walker January 2007 Hardcover    

The first thing that stands out in Patrick O’Brien’s The Mutiny on the Bounty is the impressive art that fills all 44 pages. Comic strip-style presentation of the script rests atop full pages of beautiful art will appeal to children aged 6 and older. I wanted to disappear in the vast ocean scenes with glowing white seagulls and the ship in the distant horizon. This hardcover book is protected by a jacket that shares the same imagery as the book’s cover. The Mutiny on the Bounty is of solid, durable construction – important for classes and libraries.

The famous tale of the mutiny on the British ship Bounty is a true historical event that sparked several books and four movies. In 1788, the Bounty, along with her crew of 36 sailors and officers, sailed from England to Tahiti on a mission to attain breadfruit – a nutritious fruit tree – which they were to then deliver to the Caribbean, where it would be grown as an agricultural crop.

Captain Bligh is a difficult man to please and a man of few friends – only the respect he has gained as one of the best seamen in the British Navy and his willingness to discipline keep his men loyal and hard at work. His second-in-command, Fletcher Christian, disagrees with Bligh’s tactics, though they have worked well together for many years. This conflict leads to shocking betrayal, murder, shipwrecks and survival against seemingly insurmountable odds.

The Mutiny on the Bounty is much more than just another historical account of the ship’s adventure. Imagery for ship construction, the map of Bligh’s mission, and information about breadfruit are informative and interesting at the same time. Patrick accurately describes the menu, labor and living quarters of the sailors in the era. I was quite intrigued by the origin of the sport of surfing and the construction of the Bounty. The Mutiny on the Bounty informs in a visual, interesting way rather than in dry textbook fashion. All of these make The Mutiny on the Bounty alluring for adventure-loving youth.

Patrick O’Brien has authored and illustrated nine children’s books. It is not surprising that, as a youth, he was inspired by stories like Treasure Island. He holds a degree in biology, and his experience as a draftsman in naval architecture certainly played a part in the development of this book. O’Brien currently resides in Maryland with his wife and son. Readers interested in viewing more of his stunning, award-winning art are invited to visit the author’s website,

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  Lillian Brummet/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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