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Flaked Out: The Story of Cod and Newfoundland
by C. H. Colman

Flaked Out: The Story of Cod and Newfoundland by C. H. Colman

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1453856628
Page count: 27pp

Price: CDN$11.95

Book Description
This engaging children's history book by published author C. H. Colman makes a great present for young historians and/or stamp collectors. Colman spent six years growing up in St. John’s, and hopes Flaked Out will teach young readers about their heritage and the impact of humans on wildlife, while stimulating one of life’s best journeys: stamp collecting.

Beautiful Newfoundland stamps provide this book’s illustrations, including the world's first dog stamp and the first portrayal of Queen Elizabeth the Second. Suitable for ages 5-9.

Chosen for the Memorial University Libraries Collection.

Codfish have swum in the waters off Newfoundland for thousands of years and have been central to the province's history. This valuable creature was often depicted on the postage stamps that also commemorated landmark historical events. Travel in this book to Canada's easternmost province and the waters that surround it.

Track the impact of cod, Newfoundland's currency, as it feeds the early explorers, provides a basis for settlement, then struggles for survival against the technologies of modern society. The art of Newfoundland stamps enhances the dynamic stories of a proud people and their famous fish.

This second children’s book by Colman (The Bald Eagle’s View of American History, 2006) tells the story of the overfishing of cod off Newfoundland’s coast.

Colman’s tale begins with the northern land’s first settlers, the Beothucks, who arrived nearly 2,000 years ago to a bounty of giant fish swimming off the coast. Colman traces the groups of European explorers and fishermen who followed and, in an air of lawlessness and with a lust for cod, developed various advanced fishing techniques. This led to Queen Elizabeth’s claiming of Newfoundland and encouraging of year-round settlement of the territory.

As the animals were fished at younger and younger ages, growing smaller and smaller, laws requiring specific kind of nets were put into effect. Around the turn of the 20th century, the first hatcheries appeared to aid in the repopulation of the diminishing species.

Colorful stamps—the author has collected stamps since age 5—head each section of the book, depicting scenes, symbols and characters from Newfoundland’s history. The rapid and devastating effects of human settlement and consumption take a turn for the better near the end, as we learn that in more recent decades, scientists and the government have taken the helm in the cause of cod.

Though the fish are nowhere near the size they were when the Beothucks first feasted on them, their population has been increasing. For readers who want to know more, Colman provides an extensive review of research at the end of the book, where, through a brief, lively narrative, he provides the names of books that go deeper into aspects of cod history that this book sketches out.

With its brief, straightforward narrative, Colman’s informative book seems to be intended for children, though readers of any level are granted a view of a phenomenon many have likely overlooked.

About the Author
CH Colman A former business executive, Colman left the corporate world to write full-time for children. Though Colman was already a published business author, the prospect of writing for children did not occur to him until his daughter's teacher suggested it. After speaking to his daughter's first grade class about his experience living in Uganda as a child, the teacher suggested he write his experiences down. "After that, I couldn't stop writing for kids," said Colman.

His favorite topic to write about is history, an interest that was instilled and cultivated by his parents. His father was a professor of political philosophy and his mother was a professor of medieval history. Colman family dinner conversations never lacked interest and emphasized the understanding of various viewpoints.

His first two children's books are a wonderful blend of Colman's love of history and his love of stamps.

An avid philatelist, Colman began collecting stamps at age five when he and his family moved to Uganda and received letters from around the world.

"I began collecting stamps because I loved imagining the events detailed in those tiny pictures," he said. "For me, stamps are not only collectible works of art, but they provide insights into the history and cultures of our planet." Colman expanded his collection when he moved to Newfoundland from Uganda at the age of eight.

He hopes The Bald Eagle's View of American History and Flaked Out: The Story of Cod and Newfoundland will teach readers about the different perspectives of U.S. and Newfoundland history, the impact of humans on wildlife, and of course, spark a desire to start a stamp collection so that they can embark on one of life's best journeys.

C. H. Colman and his family live in Ohio and Ontario.

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