I discovered three things today:
- Captain Cook was the greatest explorer that ever lived.
- Captain Cook is my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great- great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather
- Third Grade is going to be the best year of my life.
It’s History Week and learning about Captain Cook is the second-best thing that has ever happened in Ms Fennel’s class. The first, of course, being the escape of Ambystoma mexicanum, which is Wikipedia for axolotl.
Jimmy Cook has just discovered a link to Captain James Cook and decided that these genes mean that he is destined for Big Things. He’s keeping a log – a Captain’s log – of all his plans and observations. One of his plans involves completing some of Captain Cook’s unfinished tasks. But first he has to overcome some obstacles, the most troublesome of which is fellow classmate and all-round pest Alice Toolie. No matter what he does, she seems to get there first. But Jimmy is undaunted. World class explorers have to expect a few setbacks. Illustrations scatter throughout to help Jimmy be sure that readers understand his world.
If bright ideas and enthusiasm are what spins the world, then Jimmy Cook is sure of many whirlwind adventures. His Captain’s log overflows his brilliance and capabilities. Nothing shakes his confidence, nothing gets in his way. Not pesky classmates, not the doubts of others, not reality. He is ready to take on the world. Whether or not the world is quite ready for some of his wilder ideas, is another matter. Young readers will be carried along in the excitement of Jimmy’s missions and laugh out loud at some of the absurdities. Recommended for newly confident readers who still like a few illustrations to break up the text.
Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers Third Grade by Kate & Jol Temple ill Jon Foye
Allen & Unwin 2016 ISBN: 9781760291938
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller