New Canaan Library's inaugural townwide reading of Nathaniel Philbrick's "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex" includes presentations by New England whaling experts.

On Tuesday, March 18, at 4:30 p.m., Mystic Seaport's outreach team will present "Whales, Whaling and Whalers" in the Children's Room. Children in grades three to eight are invited to participate in the hands-on program. Philbrick's "Revenge of the Whale" is the selection for younger readers.

On Saturday, March 22, at 1:30 p.m., "The Golden Age of Whaling" features Tom Callinan, the first Connecticut state troubadour, who will take the audience on a voyage through the days of wooden ships and iron men. His presentation of sea chanteys will be punctuated by the bodhran, a traditional Celtic frame drum. The program will take place in the H. Pelham Curtis Gallery.

On Sunday, March 30, at 5 p.m., Mike Dyer, librarian and senior maritime historian at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, will present "The Art of the Yankee Whale Hunt" in the Adrian Lamb Room. Along with his storytelling, Dyer will bring artifacts from the museum's collection, including a whaling harpoon from the 1820s and scrimshaw.

On Friday, April 4, at 7 p.m., One Book New Canaan concludes with a visit by Philbrick. The location has not yet been determined.

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Admission to all programs is free, but registration is required. Visit