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The Serpent Came to Gloucester
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The Serpent Came to Gloucester

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  93 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Drawing on a true story, an award-winning author and illustrator present a picture-book tribute to the beauty and mystery of the ocean, and to the mesmerizing creatures that may frolic there.

It came from the sea, from the lonely sea,
It came from the glittering sea.

In a small Massachusetts fishing village in August of 1817, dozens of citizens claimed to have seen an enormou
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 10th 2005 by Candlewick Press
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Community Reviews

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In an informative Author’s Note, Anderson explains that this book is based on many historical, eye witness accounts to sea serpents (portrayed in the book as large black swimming snakes which creeps me out a bit) off the coast of Massachusetts in 1817. It is a simple story that is taken directly from history, regardless of its fantastical content. Ibatoulline’s pictures use “the style of nineteenth-century American maritime paintings.” Both the pictures and the stories provide an opportunity for ...more
3.25 A very interesting tale of a mysterious creature in the sea by Cape Ann, Gloucester Massachusetts. I have been to these these shores. Could the serpent in 1817 been seals in a row, large horse mackerel or another large creature now exists. Who knows. but with all the eye witness accounts it has to be something.

I have been to Loch Ness in Scotland and you pay a good amount of money to go on a boat and hunt for the Monster. It is a fun tourist trap to say you have done it!!

Did we find the m
Muhuawu wu
This book is based on a true story. In August 1817 serpent was seen repeatedly around the shores of Cape Ann, in Massachusetts. Children are always been curious about this topic and I'm so glad that I've found a book on this subject for children to read about and enjoy! Children are love it. Not wanting to leave any spoilers, I'll only quote M.T. Anderson when he said, "For generations, fishermen took for granted the existence of long, snakelike animals in the North Atlantic. It takes a peculiar ...more
I loved this tale, which is said to be based on a true story, of a serpent in the sea. The author writes in a beautifully poetic and rhythmic way. I read it aloud just to hear how it would sound. The illustrations are captivating!
By far one of my favorite children's books. I love the illustrations and the sea-shanty cadence to the story itself. It works well for teaching students about the serpent as well as tall tales versus true stories.
This gentle history of the friendship between a sea serpent and the residents of a small town is beautifully illustrated.
Linda Lipko
Based on a true happening, in 1817, the townsfolk watched in fear, and in awe as for a few weeks a snake like serpent appeared off the coast of Gloucester.

I'm not fond of snakes, and even images of them give me the creeps, yet, the artistry of Bagram Ibatoulline is worth the read.

Written with a poetic lilt, both the words and images are powerful. After the dancing in the waters for a relatively short period of time, the serpent was never seen again. Though the serpent never harmed anyone, with
I got this as a companion book to Dick King-Smith's book "The Water Horse," which we loved and which caused Logan to ask many questions about Nessie and other sea monsters. What a beautiful book! The luminous and haunting paintings show interesting details of 19th-century life in a fishing village and the way the serpent is portrayed is realistic (L dislikes cartoonish illustrations). My favorite is of the serpent cavorting in the moonlight. The story is written in the style of a sea chantey and ...more
Amanda Lee
Beautiful illustrations and lyric story, this book is based on historic accounts of a giant sea serpent off the coast of New England. I did not know about the history behind this book until reading it but I'm very interested to learn more. Could there have been giant sea serpents long ago? Do they still live today? Umm...
Based on actual sightings around the shores of Cape Ann, in Massachusetts in 1817. Was there really a serpent or some other creature in the waters? Many claimed to have seen it and many more wanted to see this unique creature. A Nessy along the shores of the states? I found the text lovely and the idea a fun one to think about.
Lovely book about strange sightings in Mass. in the early 1800s. Nessie's cousin? Lyrical writing with gorgeous illustrations. Sad to see that the primary reaction to something strange is to want to kill it. Not much has changed in 200 years! It those that take the time to observe and try to understand that try to protect.
Benjamin Kinzer
A great tale based on true stories of a coast that once had sea serpents. I love the story-telling and the poetry that supports each page. You could read it all together or only the poetry. Great introduction to adult literature and poetry.

The illustrations are gorgeous.
A beautifully illustrated children's picture book, with a narrative in verse about a sea serpent which appears in the ocean off of a Massachusetts fishing village. Based on written accounts of repeated sea serpent sightings around the shores of Cape Ann, near Gloucester, Massachusetts in the summers of 1817 and 1818. The Author's Note provides more in-depth prose background information to complement the poem and the pictures. The detailed panoramic drawings of the village "in the style of ninete ...more
I've always been curious about this topic and I'm so glad that I've found a book on this subject for children to read about and enjoy! Not wanting to leave any spoilers, I'll only quote M.T. Anderson when he said, "For generations, fishermen took for granted the existence of long, snakelike animals in the North Atlantic. It takes a peculiar kind of snobbery to believe that men who worked on the sea all their lives-though illiterate-were by nature superstitious, confused, and gullible." The illus ...more
Dec 23, 2010 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I grew up in Massachusetts and I have never heard of this tale before. It's a fascinating tale, with a narrative that is filled with repeating phrases that make it feel like a part of a sea shanty and gorgeously detailed illustrations that look like they are from the 1800s. We really enjoyed reading this story aloud together.
Sep 18, 2007 Lisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: seaside dwellers, mystery lovers, art lovers
With lovely illustrations and, as I would expect from Anderson, a scholarly reference list, this is a bittersweet tale of a changing environment, child-like wonder, and the difference between children and most adults when faced with the unknown. The verse only falters at a few points, but is anting and tells many stories at once.
Kathy Ellen Davis
Ok so maybe it doesn't always rhyme but it's written in verse and it's beautiful...
This book reads like an old folk tale and is inspired by true events!
I love that the narrator is a little boy!
The illustrations are amazing too.
I love the color and the depth.

A very cool story!
Grabbed this off the shelf next to Me, All Alone, at the End of the World. Nice illustrations. Had no idea that there was a mysterious serpent off the New England coast back before and during colonial times. Text was rhyming and well-done.
Ms. B
Readers who are interested in or enjoy stories about monsters and/or unsolved mysteries will enjoy this one. A great book for younger readers needing a book that will also expand their vocabulary.

Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A poem based on a true account of repeated sightings by many people of a sea serpent off the coast of Massachusetts in the early 1800s.
Beautiful writing. The text is a musical poem. Also a little weird. Must admit, I liked this more than kiddo.
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Matthew Tobin Anderson (M. T. Anderson), (1968- ) is an author, primarily of picture books for children and novels for young adults. Anderson lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His picture books include Handel Who Knew What He Liked; Strange Mr. Satie; The Serpent Came to Gloucester; and Me, All Alone, at the End of the World. He has written such young adult books as Thirsty, Burger Wuss, Feed, The
More about M.T. Anderson...

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