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How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen Paperback – October 10, 2006


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How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen + A Near Thing for Captain Najork + Rosie's Magic Horse
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567923224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567923223
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 6.3 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'The partnership between author and illustrator is almost perfect, their resourcefulness in making such absurdity so natural almost the equal of the boy Tom in his creation of the two-seater, jam-powered frog.' The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

A delightful tale of tomfoolery, unforgettably illustrated by Quentin Blake. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
From the comments of other parents and various children's bookstore owners, as well as the fact that the rare used copies sell seemingly seconds after they become available, it is incredible that the two Capt. Najork books have been out of print for so long. (I once tried to put my name on a waiting list at a Toronto children's bookstore, and the clerk just laughed at me). The brilliantly innovative language -- try saying "Aunt Fidgit Wonkham-Strong Najork" and see if your palate isn't pleased -- sloppily perfect illustrations, and wonderful stories make for instant classics -- delightful for children and adults alike.
Wake up, publishers! There are a lot of very hungry Capt. Najork customers out there.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By alan penney on February 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The first time our family set eyes on this book was when we borrowed it from the mobile library that visits our village. It became a classic when the kids were young, and we went on to borrow it a number of times. Phrases from it became part of our everyday language such as lets do some "high up fooling around and low down fooling around", lets play "sneedball", and I think I'll go and "learn the nautical almanac". When our younger son reached 18 years of age we decided to buy him a copy as a joke present.... We wrapped it and presented it to him at our local pub where we were having a celebratory drink on his birthday. It was a present to be savoured. We ended up having a ceremonial reading in the pub, much to our great amusement. All the other customers wondered what all the laughter was about. Had they known they would have been as hysterical as we were. Whenever the family recalls great examples of children's books this is always at the top of the list. Its a cracking read for grown ups as well. I defy anybody not to laugh. We still have the book and still refer to it....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TABlanton@aol.com on March 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
After four children, our paperback copy of Captain Najork finally disintegrated. Tom's response to his Aunt Fidget's requirements, along with his determination to "mess around" with things that are truly important make for a hilarious and, at the same time, instructive read for children. Bring back Tom! Bring back the Captain! The overly programmed children of the 21st century will need them!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Geert Docter on November 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It's like a Calvin dream (from Calvin & Hobbes). Same point of view, same imagination.
This book was mythical to me when I was a kid, importantly because there was a wonderful Dutch translation in 1976.
I didn't understand the educational value of it, but a lot of the fantasy words in that specific translation were so uncommon, that they made the book extremely interesting. Only now, I understand that I loved it because Tom is actually me.
In 1988, a new translation came, which is more concrete and easier to understand and therefore weaker. Even the Englisch original isn't as wonderfully weird as the Dutch translation of 1976.
Especially the translation of 'fooling around' into 'dollen' must have been the work of a genius (and is unexplainable in English).
I'm looking for it desperately!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Here's a truly underappreciated children's book--as evidenced by the fact that it's out of print! The important idea Russell Hoban cleverly communicates in "Tom" is that the things that look like fooling around to others (like hanging from bridges by our toes) may turn out to be the very things that prepare us to accomplish something in life (like beating the Captain and his rugby boys). This is a message that a lot of boys (and their steel-helmeted parents and guardians!) need to hear. Great book -- please put it back in print, publishers!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is, quite simply, the best children's book ever written. The story and the illustrations are brilliant. I still own the copy I had as a child, and can't wait to read it to my daughter, once she's old enough to appreciate it. It's hilarious and twisted and clever and wonderful in the way that classic childrens' books should be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By efram@ucdavis.edu on March 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Tom is a boy who lives with his stern Aunt Fidget Wonkham Strong (all the names are hilarious and fitting-like Dickens) who looks down on his ridiculously childish habit of playing! Tom is challenged to a playing-duel with his aunts fearsome comrade, Captain Najork.The best line in this book is Aunt Strong's dinnertime command to,"eat your greasy bloaders!" Which was frequently repeated in my home whenever Mom's cooking looked unappetizing. Children will love the triumphant ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Beauchamp TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was my favorite book as a child. The concept of a boy beating a gang of "hired sportsmen," because of his exceptional ability for fooling around appealed to me on the primordial level. Additional details such as Tom being forced to eat the disgustingly awesome meal of "Greasy Bloaters and Potato Slog," captured my imagination, and still are referenced from time-to-time by my siblings and I. This is simply an awesome book, and deserves to be republished, although there are reasonably priced used copies available if you know where to look. This is a 'Grade A' childrens book that is especially appealing to naughty little boys.
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