Submitter: Herman Melville and his relatives may have been robbed by this offshoot of Moby Dick. How Old Stormalong Captured Mocha Dick was on our elementary school library shelves in the tall tale section. The book itself is not all bad, but gracious, that title!! It certainly grabbed our attention. The book was hidden in between so many other tall tales that it wasn’t noticed until we started pulling for discards.
Holly: I used my librarian powers for good and Googled the title. It was reviewed in the New York Times and Kirkus Reviews when it was published in 1942. Old Stormalong is compared to Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill. Moby Dick was a novel, though, not based on legend or tall tale. I get that authors can maybe take some liberties with characters and stories of legend, but what does that make this? Kind of a blatant rip-off, no? Is there a copyright lawyer out there who can explain this?