Little Boat


One brave little boat is on a journey to discover the seven seas. Setting off into the big, wide world, Little Boat runs into treacherous waters, turbulent tides, and seafaring friends. After all his nautical adventures, our hero finds out that he’s no longer such a little boat.
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One brave little boat is on a journey to discover the seven seas. Setting off into the big, wide world, Little Boat runs into treacherous waters, turbulent tides, and seafaring friends. After all his nautical adventures, our hero finds out that he’s no longer such a little boat.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

With good friends and a sense of adventure, even the littlest boat can brave the big, scary unknown-that's the takeaway from this motivational book. Docherty seems more interested in delivering a self-esteem message ("the sea is always changing and full of dangers, but I sail on...") than in engaging readers. Although Little Boat has very expressive eyes and his wheelhouse has a jaunty tilt, Docherty's compositions, which emphasize the boat's tinyness, prevent readers from making a deeper connection to the hero. His portrayal of the sea, however, makes it a character in its own right, and almost Melvillian-a dynamic force that is by turns violent (striations of red ink add a sinister edge), mythic (its peaks resemble an aquatic mountain range) and exuberant (bubbles surrounding the boat and his friends during a plunge into the deep are appropriately effervescent). The inspirational text and a strong, recurring circular design element give the book a grown-up quality-indeed, it may find its niche as a graduation gift. Also out simultaneously from Docherty: To the Beach. Ages 3-6. (May)

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Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"The ocean is a big place and I am just a little boat," says our Little-Toot-like narrator, but in brief, simple sentences he tells how he "plots his own course" and sails on through storms, "past giant sea monsters," all in search of his friends who live in the ocean. They dive, rise, circle, "to the edge of the world…" For "no ocean is too big for a little boat like me." The cutout circle in the cover simulates a porthole through which we see our hero. The double-page scenes of an empty sea with the tiny boat set the emotional stage for the following adventures. The text merely hints at the extreme events that the boat takes in stride. Watercolor and ink illustrations are filled with huge waves and a monster octopus but also with a friendly whale and dozens of penguins on floating icebergs. The final end pages depicting the boat's anchor riding along on its rope suggest a sense of control in the vast ocean. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K—An intriguing porthole cut into this book's cover reveals an endpaper illustration of a little boat riding a wave. Searching for its marine animal friends, the tugboatlike craft travels on rolling waters, past sea monsters, and through treacherous rocks. Once the boat is reunited with its companions, the fun really begins. Large yellow eyes give the boat a likable appearance and plenty of action keeps the tale moving. The message is somewhat reminiscent of Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could (Grosset & Dunlap, 1978) as the vessel never gives up. The descriptive, first-person narrative is creatively mingled with mood-setting watercolor and ink artwork. Illustrated endpapers allow readers to use their imaginations to continue the story. Teachers could use Docherty's book along with Kathy Henderson's The Little Boat (Candlewick, 1995; o.p.) and Janet Buell's Sail Away, Little Boat (Carolrhoda, 2006) for compare-and-contrast activities. A good choice for sailing-themed storytimes.—Lynn K. Vanca, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Richfield, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763644284
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,331,798
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.33 (w) x 10.37 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Docherty has written and/or illustrated several children's books throughout the world. He has always loved drawing, especially while on his travels, which have taken him to Africa, Asia, and South America. He now lives in the west of England.
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