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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on April 16, 2005
My sister's boyfriend picked this book up at a garage sale and happened to leave it lying around. I was drawn to the cover art and once I started flipping through the pages, I couldn't put it down. It's not exactly a literary page-turner, though the story is kind of interesting - consisting mostly of a diary that was discovered in the early 1990's that contained a man's account of his experiences building a ship in Seville, Spain in 1504. But the illustrations, especially in the second half of the book, are of an incredibly high caliber. I was highly impressed with Mr. Macaulay's abilities and look forward to collecting the rest of his books if they, too, include such interesting painted pages.
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on May 30, 2008
It's hard to be enthusiastic enough about a book like this. I like the subjects (Archeology, Ship Building, historical research, fascinating stories) and the presentation style, but most of all I like how the author makes connections and inspires you to find more information about things that you suddenly feel as if you never appreciated enough. His other books are similar - "City", "Cathedral" etc. You also get the benefit of considerate and imaginative views taken from vantage points that are often difficult if not impossible to obtain in normal day to day life (or even imaginative flights of fancy)
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on March 6, 2011
I'm a David Macaulay fan - his "Castle" and "Cathedral" are beautiful works of art and instruction, and his "The Way Things Work" is a masterpiece that my little inventors plunge into again and again. But he is also a great visual storyteller, with "Black and White" and "Shortcut" being two of our favorites.

This book has two things going on. The first is an archaeological dig on the site of a shipwreck - very interesting description of how archaeologists do their work, and especially the complications of underwater work. This is first-rate. All the illustrations are done in three colors in this modern-days section - black, white, and blue. Midway through the book, a journal is discovered in the original Spanish shipyard, and the reader cruises into the day-by-day creation of a 16th century ship. (that part ties up so many loose ends, so neatly -- of course it never happens that way. Focus instead on the shipbuilding technology) These illustrations are full-color.

This is an excellent tie-in to our books on the Atlantic voyages of discovery - Columbus, Magellan and others. Extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Ah, what an illustrator can do!
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on April 7, 2008
David Macaulay is one of my favorite author/illustrators. This book is rich in detail and will interest children and adults.
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on January 12, 2009
Love David Macauly's work, and this book is an excellent read for budding sailors who enjoy learning about construction.
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on July 21, 2009
As an artist, a lifelong student of archaeology, and a fan, I was eager to examine this book, having been impressed with David Macaulay's early efforts to contribute to children's literature. Along with his writing ability, it was the storytelling quality of his illustrations that drew me in. Here, I find the usual crisp storyline, and thoughtful approach to creating a graphic complement to the text. Regrettably, I also find that the integrity of thought is obscured in an apparent rush to get it all done for publication. Perspective in the drawings is inconsistent.
Images are crudely photographic, and short on the detail found in books like CASTLE and UNDERGROUND. An absence of playfulness, replete in the earlier tribute to archaeology, MOTEL OF THE MYSTERIES, entertaining to the maximum. Most disappointing, and baffling to boot, the watercolors have a messy texture that makes them look more amateurish than artistic in presentation. A dull procession of blobs and blurred lines.

It may be that other reviewers have encountered a different edition. I simply don't see a basis for lavishing superlatives, as I, myself, did, years back, reviewing Macaulay's work.

In sum, terrific archaeology, terrible art. Decidedly, SHIP is out to sea.

Jim O'Dell
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on May 27, 2015
Looks great and completely as described.
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on September 29, 2015
love Macaulay's amazing illustrations!
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on August 23, 2014
Excellent
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