Darcy Pattison, author of such nonfiction books as Nefertiti, the Spidernaut and Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, has brought us something entertaining and topical with this latest book. Looking back 80 years to a hoax perpetrated on Nantucket, she tells the story of a sea monster that had folks along the coast afraid to go into the water. The catch? It was all a publicity stunt for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Using details pulled from newspaper articles of the time, Pattison takes us through the steps of what happened. The first sighting...the additional witnesses...the giant footprints on the beach...the news coverage...and then the revelation that it was all a prank. Complete with a timeline of the events, a list of sources, and a glossary, The Nantucket Sea Monster is the perfect way to introduce fake news to young readers. Back matter discussing the freedom of the press will help guide class discussions.
The topic of sea monsters is appealing on its own, and the illustrations have a Saturday morning cartoon feel to them. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser among young readers, as well as popular in lessons on being media savvy and smart information consumers.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.