Foster, Mark 1961-

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Foster, Mark 1961-


Born 1961, in Orlando, FL; son of Gerald Foster (an illustrator). Education: University of Massachusetts—Amherst, B.A.; attended Harvard Extension School. Hobbies and other interests: History, especially American social history, early industry, mills, whaling; the outdoors and the environment; Iyengar yoga.


Home—Somerville, MA. E-mail—[email protected]


Works in museum exhibit design and architecture.


Whale Port: A History of Tuckanucket, illustrated by father, Gerald Foster, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.


Mark Foster is a museum exhibit designer who has worked on exhibits for the National Trust and Chesterwood Museum, the Martin Guitar Museum, and for the Smithsonian Institute. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts—Amherst, Foster has an abiding interest in U.S. history and has been fascinated by the whaling industry since he was a child. The coast of New England is dotted with whaling museums, and as a child Mark toured them with his father, illustrator Gerald Foster. He shares all that he has learned about this early American industry in the children's book Whale Port: A History of Tuckanucket.

Tuckanucket is a fictional coastal town that was founded in 1683 by colonists who realized that the sea and whaling had more to offer than did farming the hardscrabble New England coastal lands. Whale Port follows the history of Tuckanucket in a timeline format, from 1683 through the boom years of the whaling industry until the present day. Tuckanucket survives the American Revolution, destructive fires, and the rise of petroleum in the early 1900s that displaced the country's need for whale oil.

Lynne Mattern, writing in School Library Journal, called Whale Port "an excellent choice for both curricular and recreational use," while a Kirkus Reviews writer noted that the book "blends large-scale colorful art and an abundance of information." Horn Book reviewer Roger Sutton noted that "the Fosters … have elegantly synthesized a tremendous amount of information into a beguiling format." Whale Port was described as "a fascinating testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of the country's North Atlantic communities" by Kristin McKulski in her Booklist review.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, December 1, 2007, Kristen McKulski, Whale Port: A History of Tuckanucket, p. 38.

Horn Book, November-December, 2007, Roger Sutton, review of Whale Port, p. 696.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2007, review of Whale Port.

School Library Journal, November, 2007, Lynne Mattern, review of Whale Port, p. 146.


Foster Art and Books Web site, (February 19, 2009).