So much has been written about Captain Cook but this book gives a fresh perspective. You can tell so many different stories through food—everything is here: culture, class, adventure, humour and much more

Julia Marshall, Publisher

Cook’s Cook


Cook’s Cook follows the 1768 journey of James Cook’s H.M. Endeavour with his ship’s cook, the one-handed John Thompson, as story teller.

Gavin Bishop tells us about his work and his new book in the video here:


  • Description

    Through real recipes from the ship’s mess, events on board and the places the ship travelled on its way to the Pacific, the book tells multiple stories.

    Here are stories of social class, hierarchy and race; stories of explorers and the people of the land; the story of one of the world’s most famous explorers told through a fresh new lens.

    This beautiful children’s book is full of information drawn from extensive research alongside evocative illustrations, released to coincide with the 250th anniversary of the Endeavour’s journey.

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin New Zealand
    Reader Age 5-7 year, 6-8 year, 8-12 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. The Sapling (NZ)

      This book is historically informative, artistically pleasing, culinarily diverse and, frankly, a pleasure to explore. Any teacher from Year 3 upwards will find more than enough teaching points to keep their students, and themselves happy, as this one-armed cook cooks for Cook!

    2. Simon Smith

      I just had to get this fantastic book. Just a fantastic non-fiction book. Details, facts and fantastic illustration. Great different perspective on Captain Cook’s voyage.

    3. Children’s Books Ireland (UK)

      Bishop’s style captures much of the nuances of late eighteenth-century cartoon beautifully painted in sepia and blue watercolour schemes, skewed angle speech bubbles, along with recipes, facts and information in scrolled and rope frames.

    4. Lancashire Evening Post

      A feast of food, facts and history…Award-winning New Zealand illustrator Gavin Bishop sweeps young readers away to life on the ocean wave with famous explorer Captain James Cook in a fascinating, fact-packed picture book.

      Read more at:

    5. Kirkus Reviews (US)

      Appealing illustrations and the lure of an insider’s account make this a delectable adventure.

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