Ishmael — The Adventurous Sailor
Ahab — The Mysterious Captain
Moby Dick — The Great White Whale
THE COZY VERSION
Eager to hit the high seas, Ishmael travels to Nantucket, Massachusetts, the capital of the whaling world. There, he signs up for a three-year voyage aboard the whale ship Pequod. At first, Ahab, the ship’s captain, doesn’t show his face. When he finally appears, he stands on deck with a peg leg made of whale bone and asks the crew to help him find Moby Dick, the infamous whale that deprived him of his leg.
For over a year, the Pequod sails around the world, hunting and catching whales but never finding Moby Dick. Just when it seems they’ll never succeed, they spot the great white whale! For three days, the Pequod races in pursuit. On the third day, Moby Dick attacks the Pequod, which goes down in a whirl. Only Ishmael, thrown far overboard, lives to tell the tale.
Cozy Classics uses a simple one word/one image format to help babies and toddlers build vocabulary and learn everyday concepts such as body parts, emotions, animals, relationships, actions, and opposites. However, Cozy Classics organizes everyday words in a more unique way: through story. By putting words in the context of a story, our books help children find further meaning through a growing sense of narrative.
As children get older, parents can expand on the stories in ever more elaborate ways. If you need a little help, just use the brief synopsis on the back of each book or the longer synopses (the Cozy version) above. But there’s no right or wrong way to read Cozy Classics. Use the words and images as prompts to invent stories of your own and encourage your children to do the same.
Parents can enliven their storytelling with quotations from the originals. Below are some of our favorites from Moby Dick that go well with “the Cozy version.” Quotations can lead to whole passages until one day children are enthralled by the richest versions of all: the classics themselves.
Quotations from Moby Dick
- “Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”
- “You may have seen many a quaint craft in your day, for aught I know;—square-toed luggers; mountainous Japanese junks; butter-box galliots, and what not; but take my word for it, you never saw such a rare old craft as this same rare old Pequod.”
- “Captain Ahab stood erect, looking straight out beyond the ship’s ever-pitching prow. There was an infinity of firmest fortitude, a determinate, unsurrenderable willfulness, in the fixed and fearless, forward dedication of that glance.”
- “So powerfully did the whole grim aspect of Ahab affect me, and the livid brand which streaked it, that for the first few moments I hardly noted that not a little of this overbearing grimness was owing to the barbaric white leg upon which he partly stood.”
- “‘Aye, Starbuck; aye, my hearties all round; it was Moby Dick that dismasted me; Moby Dick that brought me to this dead stump I stand on now. Aye, aye,’ he shouted with a terrific, loud, animal sob, like that of a heart-stricken moose.”
- “Yonder, by the ever-brimming goblet’s rim, the warm waves blush like wine. The gold brow plumbs the blue. The diver sun—slow dived from noon,—goes down; my soul mounts up!”
- “‘There she blows!—there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!’”
- “But soon the fore part of him slowly rose from the water; for an instant his whole marbleized body formed a high arch, like Virginia’s Natural Bridge, and warningly waving his bannered flukes in the air, the grand god revealed himself.”
- “The hand of Fate had snatched all their souls; and by the stirring perils of the previous day; the rack of the past night’s suspense; the fixed, unfearing, blind, reckless way in which their wild craft went plunging toward its flying mark; by all these things, their hearts were bowled along.”
- “Retribution, swift vengeance, eternal malice were in his whole aspect, and spite of all that mortal man could do, the solid white buttress of his forehead smote the ship’s starboard bow, till men and timbers reeled.”
- “And now, concentric circles seized the lone boat itself, and all its crew, and each floating oar, and every lance-pole, and spinning, animate and inanimate, all round and round in one vortex, carried the smallest chip of the Pequod out of sight.”
- “The drama’s done. Why then here does any one step forth?—Because one did survive the wreck.”