Local artist debuts children’s whaling adventure storybook, Sept. 12

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Artist and author, David Blanchette, will talk about his new illustrated children's book, "Xico" on Thursday, September 12 at 6:00 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The artist will read from his book and give an illustrated talk about its creation and his art, part of AHA! New Bedford’s “It Came From a Book” theme night. He will also sign books, which will be available for sale for the first time in the museum store.

The story surrounds a boy named Xico (pronounced Shee-koo) from the Island of Faial, Azores, who stows away on a New Bedford whaleship. Along with a talented pet rat named Pink Ears, Xico has many adventures both fun and dangerous as they sail around the world, making new friends and learning about new cultures.

Blanchette became hooked on whaling and “Moby-Dick” when in 1956, at the age of eleven, he watched Gregory Peck (Ahab) and Friedrich Ledebur (Queequeg) ride along Purchase Street in a grand parade, part of the movie’s world premiere in New Bedford.

Over the years, Blanchette worked as a designer/illustrator at several studios with a brief break when he worked aboard an offshore lobster boat. That job entailed trips of five or six days on the ocean bringing the reality of a whaling voyage lasting years into sharp, awe-inspiring focus.

The Wareham artist’s lifelong fascination with whaling history led him to learn all he could about the subject. Eventually, he became a docent at the Whaling Museum, greeting thousands of children as a fictitious whaling master named Captain C. Weade aboard the Lagoda.

“Xico” is published by the New Bedford Whaling Museum and sponsored by the William M. Wood Foundation.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of whales, whaling, and the cultural history of the region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown and is open daily. Wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit the Whaling Museum online at www.whalingmuseum.org.

For more information, contact:
Arthur Motta
Dir., Mkt & Communications
Tel 508/997-0046  ext 153