Encyclopedia Titanica Message Board » Titanic Books » Children's Books » Any votes for the best Titanic childrens book?
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Tarn Stephanos
Posted on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 11:01 pm:       

Which Titanic book was THE best childrens book?

There is one ive recently seen in a series of books about science,animals,etc; one volume is on Titanic, and is laden with photos. Great kids book....(the title escapes me)

The Ballard book was good; the kids version, though hands down my favorite was the 1974 "Titanic" by Richard Boning. The book even came with a narrative cassette. I remember back in grammar school in ancient times, in 1979, I read, and listened to this book, and was hooked.....



regards

Tarn Stephanos
Michael Tennaro
Posted on Friday, May 24, 2002 - 8:25 pm:       

Tarn, the book you are thinking about could be Titanic by Simon Adams, a volume in the DK Eyewitness Books series.

I don't really have a "best" children's book, but one of my current favorites is Story of the Titanic by Steve Noon. a short book, but oversized, and with really cool cutaway drawings of Titanic telling the story of the sinking.
Michael Tennaro
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 4:26 pm:       

okay, since Fiona asked so nicely, :-) let's get this thread going again! as I mentioned a year ago, I really liked Steve Noon's book - just because the illustrations are so great. its for the 4 to 8 age group.

if I had to pick the single "best" children's book, though, I would probably go with Shelley Tanaka's On Board the Titanic: What it was Like When the Great Liner Sank.

it is a short, but very well written work. it tells the story through the eyes of two of the young men on board, Jack Thayer in first class, and Harold Bride, the junior Marconi operator. as an added bonus, it is illustrated by Ken Marschall, including a double-page cutaway of the ship (I love cutaways!). this is for the 9 to 12 age group.

another big plus is that it is probably the most accurate children's books I have read yet.

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
Michael Tennaro
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2003 - 4:31 pm:       

by the way, in the other thread, Susan mentioned Inside the Titanic by Brewster and Marschall. I agree wholeheartedly with her - that is another great book. plus it has cutaways! did I mention I love cutaways? :-)

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
Fiona Nitschke
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 2:24 am:       

It's tough choosing only one children's book - do we mean fiction or non fiction? If fiction and we're looking at works for the under twelves, I'd have to go with Polar. Mind you, just about everyone I've ever discussed that book with has loved it - it really is a book for 'children of all ages'. Another good work of fiction for young readers is Mary Pope Osborne's Tonight on the Titanic from the Magic Tree House series (be prepared to break out the tissues at the end though).

If non fiction, I agree with Mike T re the Tanaka book, and with Susan about Marschall and Brewster. Cutaways, yay! (Not that I’ve read Steve Noon’s book yet.) From the more recent releases, I thought David Stewart's You Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Titanic! quite good. I'm also very fond of the Dorling Kindersley series, particularly those by Simon Adams (Titanic) and Eric Kentley (Discover the Titanic). A good fiction entry from Dorling Kindersley is Caryn Jenner's Survivors - the Night Titanic Sank, featuring the fictional Tate family, travelling third class.

Of earlier works, I agree with Tarn regarding the merit of Richard Boning's Titanic. I'm also fond of the particularly grim illustrations reminiscent of the best socialist state educative art work, complete with firmed jawed heroic or menacing officers and doomed third class families. I’d also like to put in a vote for Arthur Cooke’s A Day in a Shipyard, even though it’s not really a ‘Titanic’ book but an ‘Olympic’ book.
Susan L. Romanyuk
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 3:38 am:       

Because Fiona asked really nicely I will repost my choice here. Tarn as you were not age specific I would have to say 'Inside The Titanic' by Hugh Brewster and Ken Marschall. The text is easy for younger children to understand and the illustrations are poignant and really tell the story of Titanic.

I also have to agree with Michael Tennaro about Shelly Tanaka's 'On Board the Titanic: What it was Like When the Great Liner Sank.' Micheal may be big on cut-aways, but I am a huge fan of illustrations in childrens books. And the Tanaka and Brewster books both use Ken Marschall's works. And who better to tell titanic's visual story then Ken?

Susan R.
Newberg, Oregon
'RMS Titanic......91 Years On'
Susan L. Romanyuk
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 4:12 am:       

I have another book to recommend. How about 'Ghost Liners: Exploring The World's Greatest Lost Ships by Robert Ballard & Rick Archbold, illustrated by Ken Marschall. This is another book for the younger set. The text is well written and interesting. This book covers not just Titanic, but other great liners as well. And again the illustrations complete the story of these great lost ships.

I have used this book and Hugh Brewster's book Inside Titanic on some guest lectures I have done at the elementary school here in my home town. The children were fascinated with Ken Marschall's illustrations.
Susan R.
Newberg, Oregon
'RMS Titanic......91 Years On'
John Clifford
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 5:40 am:       

We, of course, have to include "Polar the Titanic Bear", and, as I mentioned in another thread, "Titanic Crossing", for young readers.
John Clifford
Colleen Collier
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 9:46 am:       

How about Ghost of the Abyss, 3-D childrens version? The 3-D illustrations really add something neat and (different) to those well known pictures. (And if we are speaking fondly of Ken Marschall, well, who can beat a 3-D of him sitting there as Ismay?!?!?)
What age are we speaking of in regards to a childrens book? My daughters favorite book, is the same as her daddy's was at the same age. That stands as "A Night To Remember."
"882 1/2 Facts about Titanic" is an enjoyable little book of snipets of data.
Polar the Titanic Bear is a favorite with my 5 year old.
My older son read and re-read "Finding the Titanic" until it fell apart.
We too, like "Inside the Titanic"...
Too many choices! I like them all!
Colleen
Randy Bryan Bigham
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 3:38 pm:       

"Polar the Titanic Bear" is my favorite. I have bought it for both of my nephews and my niece. I have not yet seen the children's edition of "Ghosts of the Abyss" but will be buying that for the kiddies as well.
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2003 - 8:39 pm:       

"Polar the Titanic Bear", "On board the Titanic: What it was Like When The Great Liner Sank" and "Inside Titanic" are a few of my favourites. "882 1/2 Facts about Titanic" does contain several errors, but it's still a good book with lots of illustrations which I'm also a big fan of in children's books. I'm also a big fan of cutaways!

The children's version of "Ghosts of the Abyss" has quickly become one of my favourites as well. As Colleen said, it presents those photos in a whole new way.

Best regards,

Jason :-)
"to be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Susan L. Romanyuk
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 3:17 am:       

Gee Jason,

Now you have me curious enough to buy the children's version of Ghosts of the Abyss! And you know, even though I am an 'old adult' I read these books and get into them just as a child might. Oh jeez am I saying that I have not grown up yet?
Susan R.
Newberg, Oregon
'RMS Titanic......91 Years On'
Fiona Nitschke
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 3:23 am:       

LOL! Gosh no, Susan - but if it makes you feel any better I have a huge collection of Titanic children's books too. :-)

I'm looking forward to adding the kids' version of GoTA to my collection sometime soon. Thanks for the recommendation, Colleen.
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 3:29 am:       

LOL! Definitely not, Susan.

I recommend purchasing a copy. It's well worth it.

Best regards,

Jason :-)
"to be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
James Doyle
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 8:31 pm:       

Just wondering, I also injoyed 882 1/2 questions when I was younger. What are some of the errors in it?

Funny Story...when I was in 4th grade, my teacher had Ballard's Discovery of the Titanic, behind her desk with a number of other books. All other books in the classroom were free to read except for the ones behind her desk, which is where the book was. One day without her looking, I grabbed the book and ran back to my desk. Needless to say, I had my reading material for a few days, then slipped it back without her ever knowing! I think thats when I became very interested in Titanic! Thanks Ms. Ward!
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 8:53 pm:       

Hi James,

It's been a little while since I read that book, so at the moment I can't recall some of the errors in it. I don't have it with me, but I'd be happy to check for you later on.

If someone else wants to post them feel free, otherwise I'll post them this evening.

Best regards,

Jason :-)
"to be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Fiona Nitschke
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 1:47 am:       

I'm another without the book to hand this minute, but remember my chief criticism of it being in the presentation of some of the more uncertain Titanic lore as hard fact rather than explaining these were points open to some debate / surmise etc. It's still a ripper of a book though.
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 2:52 am:       

James,

Here are the errors that I found:

#100 which is an all to common error, says that Captain Smith was going to retire at the end of Titanic's maiden voyage. White Star Line denied that.

#235 which says that the Titanic had to anchor off shore at Queenstown, because there wasn't a big enough dock to accommodate her. There was a dock that she could have tied up to, but it would taken more time to do that.

#342 states that Alice Cleaver who was Lorriane and Trevor Allison's nanny was a murderer. People confused her with another woman, that was named Alice Cleaver who killed her baby.

#476 and #477 state that both collapsible's A and B floated off the deck at 2:20 am. They actually left five minutes earlier.

#550 states that no one survived by clinging to wreckage. Actually one Chinese sailor did survive by doing just that, and was rescued by Fifth Officer Harold Lowe.

#833 says that even though their wasn't a Jack Dawson on board, their was a "J. Dawson" on the ship who was a trimmer. While this is correct, it states that his name was James, but in fact it was Joseph.

Even though it contains these errors, it's still an enjoyable book. Fiona, if I've missed any please post them.

Best regards,

Jason :-)
"to be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
James Doyle
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 3:49 am:       

Jason, thanks so much for taking the time to inform me on those. Still have it up on the shelf in my collection.
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 4:26 am:       

James,

You're so welcome, it's my pleasure. Several people here have taken the time to answer my questions as well, so in a way I feel that I'm giving back.

I got a good laugh out of your story above, by the way.

Best regards,

Jason :-)
"to be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Michael Tennaro
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 3:43 pm:       

Fiona wrote: I’d also like to put in a vote for Arthur Cooke’s A Day in a Shipyard, even though it’s not really a ‘Titanic’ book but an ‘Olympic’ book.

ah, but I beg to differ, Fiona. Shipyard is indeed a Titanic book. the author visited the Harland & Wolff shipyards while the Olympic and Titanic were being built side by side. there are pictures of both ships in the book. and while the author does mostly focus on Olympic, he does spend some time in the book on Titanic as well.

in fact A Day In A Shipyard may be the very first Titanic book ever printed. its either that one or the Shipbuilder special edition. not sure which was published before the other.

in Shipyard it has always ingrigued me that the author is given his tour by an unnamed Harland & Wolff employee as guide. I have always imagined that it might have been Thomas Andrews himself, although in reality he was probably way too important to be giving the penny tour to a children's author. still the concept is intriguing!

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
Tarn Stephanos
Posted on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 12:30 am:       

A copy of A Day In The Shipyard sold on Ebay last year for $500
I didnt find the listing untill after the auction ended..usually my Titanic book hunting spidey sense never fails, but it kicked in too late on that day...


Tarn Stephanos
Don Tweed
Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2003 - 5:13 pm:       

I will have to go with Polar also.
My daughter just loves it!
I have the Magic Treehouse book and Inside the Titanic too.
She likes them as well!!!
Happy Fathers Day out there to all!!!!
-Don
George L. Lorton
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2008 - 4:54 am:       

'Inside The Titanic' by Hugh Brewster and Ken Marschall.

My daughter loves this book. I love this book as well. It really engages her attention. My daughter would follow me around and point at pictures and I'd tell her what she was pointing at. She likes the Polar Bear one as well but not as much as she did Inside Titanic.