Monday, March 28, 2016
Non-Fiction Monday: The Impossible Voyage of Kon-Tiki by Deborah Kogan Ray
The Impossible Voyage of Kon-Tiki by Deborah Kogan Ray. unpgd. Charlesbridge, October, 2015. 9781580896207. (Finished copy courtesy of publisher for review)
I vividly recall reading Thor Heydahl's Kon-Tiki as a kid as well as seeing the documentary. As a librarian, the book happened to be in my collection, but never circulated. I could never bring myself to weed it. I finally did weed it, though with a heavy heart. I tried hand-selling it but the book was old and unattractive.
Perhaps this attractive, new informational picture book will resuscitate interest in this fascinating experiment. When Thor Heyerdahl was still in college studying anthropology, he spent a year in the Polynesian Islands. While there, he noted carvings that resembled the style uses in South America and thought it might be possible that the islands were populated from South America rather than from Asia as was long theorized. Heyerdahl was poo-poohed whenever he tried to assert his theory. When one professor jokingly asked if he would be willing to try to make the trip himself on a raft, Heyerdahl set out to do so.
With quotes from Heyerdahl embedded in the text, Deborah Kogan Ray's storytelling engages the reader. Her evocative watercolors vividly depict a variety of scenes from his 101-day voyage. The end-pages are decorated with a map of the sea voyage and currents. There's plenty of back-matter - an author's note, a brief biography, websites and books for further reading and source notes.
All-in-all, a worthy addition to the 910 section of the collection.