Sunday, July 14, 2019

Review - The Magic Boat

The Magic Boat
by Kit Pearson & Katherine Farris
illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Date: 2019
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Every summer morning, Ellie and her Nonna go to the beach. They swim and build sandcastles, and while Nonna reads, Ellie watches the other children play. One day Ellie builds up the courage to approach an older girl playing on her own in a beached rowboat. Piper has a gift, an imagination so great that she whisks Ellie off on grand adventures, going high in the air, deep below the ocean and everywhere in between in their little blue boat, their magic boat. When Piper has to leave, Ellie discovers she has her own vivid imagination.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

The Magic Boat is a cute story about imagination, friendship, and having confidence in yourself.

At the beach, Ellie meets a girl named Piper who has a big imagination. Their broken blue rowboat transforms into a sleek sailboat, and then a balloon, and then a submarine. Ellie and Piper have lots of fun imagining all their adventures. But when it's time for Piper to go home, Ellie finds that she can't imagine anything by herself. Luckily, she finds a new friend, and that gives her the push she needs to rekindle the magic.

I really like the West Coast Canadian flavour of this one (not surprising, given that Kit Pearson lives in the area). Although I got a giggle out of Nonna feeding the kids Nanaimo bars for a "snack", I'm not sure if that bit isn't too stereotypically Canadian... even though it's not very accurate. The book makes it sound like Nanaimo bars are a healthy snack like granola bars when, in fact, they're a sticky-sweet dessert. Nonna might as well have been feeding them cake for their "snack"! (Well, that's her call. If she wants to deal with the resulting sugar rush--and subsequent crash--that's her prerogative.)

The illustrations are really sweet and perfectly capture the beach mood. I've encountered this illustrator's work before, in L’été de la petite baleine and in Stolen Words. Her style was a really good choice for this gentle, seaside-themed story.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. Aside from encouraging kids to eat Nanaimo bars as snacks (don't get me wrong... they're yummy; they're just not very healthy), the story is strong and shows how children might get over their creative blocks by sharing their experiences with others.

Quotable moment:

The next morning Ellie sat in the old blue boat all by herself. She tried to sail out to sea. She tried to fly in the air. She tried to sink under the water. But nothing happened.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment