Sunday, July 21, 2019

Review - All In the Same Boat

All In the Same Boat
by Wilkie J. Martin
illustrated by Tanja Russita
Date: 2019
Publisher: The Witcherley Book Company
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 34
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

It so happened that a big ship went down in a terrible storm.

By chance and good fortune, Rat, Mouse and Gerbil scrambled safely into an empty lifeboat.

A cautionary fable about greed featuring a rat, a mouse and a gerbil.

A tale about overuse of resources by the powerful at the expense of the small and vulnerable.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Whoa. This is dark.

Essentially, this is a little fable about three animals who get stuck in a boat with limited supplies. Rat is greedy and takes more than his fair share. And... that's about it.

There's no real reason for Rat's change of heart at the end. His greed is so strong, it leads him to eat one of his companions. There's nothing in the text that suggests why he would suddenly understand the error of his ways, other than a scolding from the remaining companion.

The body count in this book is high. Arguably, everyone dies. It's a really strange thing to see in a children's picture book, and it makes the whole story rather pointless. If the last remaining character doesn't have long to live, anyway, the lesson becomes essentially meaningless. Maybe they all should've eaten and drank their fill and at least enjoyed themselves if their days were already numbered.

The illustrations are rough but passable, and with a better story, they might have worked. I'm just struggling to see the point of such a pointless story. If you want to convey a message about greed, there needs to be more emphasis on long-term consequences; otherwise, readers may question the need to rein in that greed in the first place.

Thank you to NetGalley and The Witcherley Book Company for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 0/5

Overall: 1.33 out of 5

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