Jimmy Cook discovers third grade by Kate and Jol Temple
Ill. by Jon Foye. Allen & Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760291938
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Humour. Australian history. School. Jimmy Cook becomes a butt of jokes in class when he insists that he is related to Captain James Cook, despite the man having no known descendants. This does not deter Jimmy however and he is sure that he must go on an adventure just like his forebear, this time to Hawaii where Captain Cook was killed, as Jimmy firmly believes that the place needs a dose of law and order.
History Week at school gives him another forum for discussing the Captain, and he does this at length, going to such extremes as dressing his hair in the same way and wearing a tricorn hat. Luckily a certain brand of cereal has a competition running which sees Jimmy collecting all the coupons he can with the help of his friends, in order to win first prize, a trip to Hawaii. But one hitch is that his enemy in class, Alice, is also collecting the coupons so they are rivals. There follows a funny story of Jimmy and his ambition often thwarted by Alice, but the rivalry which exists in third grade is well drawn, and the accompanying wonderful illustrations which dot the pages are a treat. I particularly love the inventory of Captain Cook's things adding much interest to the behind the scenes history of such a voyage of exploration. Learning history at this sort of pace is most infectious and I hope we will see more of Jimmy Cook.