|Alpha Bravo Charlie, |
The Complete Book of Nautical Codes, by Sara Gillingham
Written and illustrated by Sara Gillingham
Phaidon Press, 2016
Ages 6-10, 120 pp
Language, Nautical, Nonfiction
Imagine you are on a boat out at sea, a long time ago, with no phone or electronic way to talk to anyone else. Sailing in the big, wide ocean is pretty dangerous! There are pirate ships that could rob you, and maybe even enemy ships from countries you are at war with. So when you see another ship off in the distance, what do you do?
Alpha Bravo Charlie is truly a "complete book of nautical codes." The introduction explains the need for and definition of signal flags, the phonetic alphabet flags, Morse code, and semaphore. Then, for each letter of the alphabet, the book includes a full page flag, explanations of each of the other languages, plus a different kind of boat on every page giving examples of the code in use. Each boat is also explained in detail adding a bonus of 26 boats to the reader's repertoire. The back matter includes a glossary, more about nautical history, more about codes, decorating boats, links, and resources for further study. Whew!
What I Love:
This brightly colored, graphic book is sturdy and perfect for enquiring minds and eager little hands. The format is what makes it stand out, as well as the information packed between the covers. Even the endpapers are in Morse code (though I found myself wishing there was a secret message embedded there!) I loved learning the meanings of the flags and can see this being referred to often by best buddies: sending signals from the tree tops or covertly in the classroom. The creator cleverly included various ships to help tell her story. For example, the Alpha flag also means "diver down." The artist drew a boat with diving platform, including descriptive text, to cement the details in our minds. I was astounded she could come up with twenty-six different kinds of boats, each linking to the meaning of the International Code of Signals flags. I did find myself wishing I could detach the flags and use them. I can imagine my kid-self doing just that.
|Secret codes in Math class|
from What Do We Do All Day
of the International Code of Signal Flags.
2. Study.com has articles on the history of Morse code and
lessons on the subject.
3. I found a huge, detailed list of various ships on the Ultimate Online Guide. I wonder if it more or less reliable than Wikipedia.
4. Kids Activities Blog and Grandparents.com each have a multitude of codes you can teach your kids.
5. Creative Interviews posted an interview with Sara Gillingham on her duties as design director.
6. Check out these related reviews from my previous posts and don't forget to support your local library.
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|Reviewed by Vivian|
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, May 5, 2017 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.