Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
He’s back! The late Mordecai Richler had planned more adventures for his small hero and now, with the full support of the Richler family, award-winning author Cary Fagan carries on the tradition in a hilarious story for a whole new generation of Jacob fans.
After Jacob Two-Two’s father writes a very important novel, the family makes plans to move to Canada.
They board the SS Spring-a-Leak for a journey across the ocean. Jacob Two-Two makes some new acquaintances — the unbelievably handsome Captain Sparkletooth, the acrobatic Bubov Brothers, the failed toy inventor Mr. Peabody, and the giant but gentle Morgenbesser. Most important, he makes friends with young Cindy Snootcastle, who keeps a secret treasure in her pocket.
But something is wrong on the SS Spring-a-Leak. A series of clues — a black eye patch; a parrot who squawks “Apple sauce in your underpants!”; and a sailing ship flying the Jolly Roger — can only mean trouble. Will the intrepid Shapiro and the fearless O’Toole really be left on a desert island? Will Jacob Two-Two be made to walk the plank?
Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas is a treat for those who know Jacob and for those who are about to meet one of the most endearing characters in children’s literature.
About the authors
Cary Fagan is the author of eight previous novels and five books of short stories, including The Student, Great Adventures for the Faint of Heart, and A Bird's Eye. He has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Writers' Trust Fiction Award, the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, and has won the Toronto Book Award and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction. He is also an acclaimed writer of books for children, having won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, the IODE Jean Throop Book Award, a Mr. Christie Silver Medal, the Joan Betty Stuchner—Oy Vey!—Funniest Children's Book Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People. Fagan's work has been translated into French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Turkish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Korean and Persian. He still lives in his hometown of Toronto.
Duan Petricic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, but loved to pretend that he grew up in Zemun, an old city located just across the river (and now a part of Belgrade). As a boy he did all the forbidden things that children do, but what Duan loved most was to draw. He started drawing at age four and, encouraged by his parents, he never stopped. He found inspiration in everything, and drawing became a way to communicate with the people around him. Two books that were very important to his childhood were an old encyclopedia with lots of pictures and The Boys from Pavel’s Street by Ferenc Molnár. Early on, he was moved by the drawings found within the encyclopedia. As he grew older, he adored many artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, and Picasso. Duan has been illustrating children’s books for many years. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work, in North America and internationally, including an IBBY Certificate of Honour and an Alberta Book Award for On Tumbledown Hill (Red Deer Press). The Longitude Prize (FSG) was selected as a Robert F. Siebert Honor Book for a Distinguished Informative Book for Children in the US. His beautiful, evocative illustrations for Mattland (2009) by Hazel Hutchins and Gail Herbert garnered Duan the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award from the Canadian Library Association as well as the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. His illustrations for Better Together (2011) by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro were described as “sublime” by Kirkus Reviews. When it came time to reissue Robert Munsch’s Mud Puddle (2012), Duan was Annick’s first choice to reillustrate the classic. The results are a fresh and energetic look that will delight a whole new generation of young Munsch fans. Duan’s latest book, The Man with the Violin (2013), was greeted with rave reviews, including starred reviews in Kirkus and uill & uire. Written by Kathy Stinson, this beautifully evocative picture book tells the true story of world-renowned violinist, Joshua Bell, who conducted an experiment by anonymously playing his priceless violin in the Washington D.C. subway station. Luckily for Duan, his profession is his favorite hobby and he is happy when at work. To young artists he would give this advice: “Think, think, think, think, draw!” Duan lives in Toronto where he is a regular contributor as an editorial cartoonist in the Toronto Star.
“… Fagan crafts a zany tale that kids (in the spirit of Jacob’s doublespeak) will want to read at least twice. Petricic, whose line art complements the story’s humor…”
— Publishers Weekly
“A delightful, imaginative tale of the incorrigible Jacob Two-Two…. Cary Fagan has woven a wonderfully silly, child-like adventure of ridiculous characters…. This story is a great yarn and hooks the childlike imagination in every reader regardless of age. An excellent use of a character…. Cary Fagan’s adventure story will be a hit with children and adults alike, an excellent chapter book for late primary and junior grades….”
— Excellent, Resource Links
Jacob Two-Two on the High SeasJacob Two-Two, the precocious six year old (2+2+2) character created by Mordecai Richler, is an iconic favourite of a whole generation of Canadian children. Cary Fagan’s wonderfully imaginative new book, Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas will appeal to a new generation as they follow Jacob on an action-packed, perilous pirate-attacked voyage from Surrey, England to Montreal.
The journey on board the SS Spring-a-leak begins with all the original family members, and includes shipmates with unique talents, plus two new friends, Cindy Snootcastle and the massive but kindly Morgenbesser who resides in the engine room. Morgenbesser’s ability to relate to the youngsters and listen closely to their observations leads the reader to rethink who the true villain(s) of the story might be: is it really Scrounger, the first mate with an eye patch and a parrot that spouts laughter inducing phrases like: “Pirates and pickles cost only a nickel!”? Or the other adults who regularly disbelieve Jacob and Cindy when they tell the truth about what is going on? When the SS Spring-a-leak is attacked by a real pirate ship, Fagan offers a variety of treasures from which the dastardly pirate Crossbones must choose, allowing for some insightful moments leading to an interesting end.
Fagan’s engaging characters and his talent for developing dialogue that appeals to budding readers combine effectively with the humorously clever drawings of award-winning illustrator Du˘san Petri˘ci´c. Petri˘ci´c’s “plus two” chapter marking allows readers to find other ways of expressing number, but it is his new depiction of Jacob and Cary Fagan’s thorough understanding of what adventurous antics appeal to emergent chapter book readers that allows for a most successful rebirth. Dare we hope for more adventures to come?
Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2009. Vol.32 No.4.
Jacob Two-Two on the High SeasHe’s back! After Jacob Two-Two’s father writes a very important novel, the family makes plans to move to Canada. They board the SS “Spring a Leak” for a journey across the ocean. This story is based on the character created by Mordecai Richler.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.