Friday, July 8, 2022

Picture books about boats, seas, ponds, out-of-doors and delights from Candlewick Press [Review & Giveaway]

Old Wood Boat by Nikki McClure

My thoughts: 
This is such a lovely story about an old boat that sits in dry dock. It is constructed of wood as boats of yesteryear were wont to be. Made prior to aluminum and fiberglass boats that are lighter and more modern, constructed after the model of boats of centuries past, and surely long past its ability to take to the sea in safety, this sturdy boat is claimed again by those who envision sea going bliss.

Bought, hauled away, and lovingly restored to a state of sea-worthiness it sets sail again on a sea of green.

Beautifully told story. I highly recommend.

About the book: Old wood boat remembers the wind. Dilapidated and parted from the sea, she remembers and waits as her mast cracks and blackberry vines creep across her deck. But one day, a family tows her home. Scraped, scrubbed, sanded, and varnished, she is made beautiful and seaworthy again. After libations have been poured out, the family casts off, and old wood boat embarks on adventure once more.

In this love letter to sailing, heralded West Coast artist Nikki McClure tells the story of a restored wooden boat in timeless and reverent prose that perfectly accompanies her stunning cut-paper illustrations. At once delicate and bold, each page is masterful, rendered from a single sheet of black paper with precision and care that is sure to enthrall readers from coast to coast.

Lily Leads the Way by Margi Preus; illustrated by Matt Myers

My thoughts: 
Little sailboat Lily just wants to go under the bridge and it must lift to permit her tall sail to pass through. But she is pushed aside repeatedly by the big boats. She just wants to go greet the old sailing ships (tall rigged sailing ships) as they sail into port.

Awash in the turbulent waves created by the big ships, Lily inches along and finally slips under the bridge in the nick of time. 

A sweetly told story that little ones will love to hear read to them and they will really root for the little boat.

I highly recommend.

About the book: Lily the sailboat is small but sturdy, in a harbor full of enormous cargo ships, speedy fishing vessels, and bossy tugboats that all have somewhere to go. And something to say—mostly, “Out of my way, Lily!” But when a fleet of tall ships needs assistance, this little sailboat is ready to save the day. This tale of plucky persistence, illustrated with the splash and sparkle of a summer day on the water, is sure to empower any child to take charge when the time is right.

At the Pond by David Elliott & illustrated by Amy Schimler-Stafford

My thoughts: 
The author's sense of humor is just lovely and shines through the text. Some in easy cadence rhyme and others in a more prosaic style with some rhyming words but lacking in cadence. Some easy to read aloud and others not so easy. I loved the extensive vocabulary even though the words will be beyond comprehension for the typical child for whom the book is directed. I think that a mixture of words not common for children should be interspersed with their typical vocabulary and is beneficial.

I liked the "poem" that used alliteration, too. Lets children see the art of this technique.

I especially loved the book with its teaching about pond life throughout the day and the beauty of each creature and element of the pond. Lovely illustrations capture the essence of the pond and bring it to life for the reader.

I highly recommend.

About the book: A lyrical narration and breathtaking illustrations transport us to the world of a pond with all its sights, sounds, and pulsing life.

The red-winged blackbird spreads his tail
and sings his hello morning song;
he has sung it since the bright
and misty world began.

When the soft pink of the dawn sun starts peeking over the pond, a new day has begun for all the animals who live in it and around its watery edges. The friendly duck family, the mysterious water striders, and the busy beaver are a few of the many fascinating and familiar animals included in this glowing poetic tribute to the lively ecosystem of the pond. A companion to In the Sea, In the Wild, On the Farm, and In the Woods, At the Pond brings readers to the pond’s sun-dappled shores, pairing David Elliott’s witty and enchanting animal poems with Amy Schimler-Safford’s luminous and evocative scenes of pond life. Back matter notes about the animals and plants will further captivate young nature lovers.

Set of 3 Books for 2 Winners
Begins July 8
Ends August  5 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. Today I arrived at the grocery store and a gentleman was up to the glass of the window of the car next to me. At first I thought someone was checking out cars. Then as I was walking towards the entrance I saw him again but he looked lost. He had his cane in one hand and his key fob in the other. He said he couldn’t find his car. So I walk around with him to find a car that had veteran plates on it. We found it Parked near the entrance in the handicap section. It was a good day.

    1. I love your gentle help to this older gentleman. Thank you for sharing this story and for helping him.


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