Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Read, Read, Read, said the Baby: Whose Boat? By Toni Buzzeo and Tom Froese

The previous titles in this board book series, Whose tools? And Whose Truck? are very, very popular in my library. They each follow a similar format: A spread includes some rhyming couplets on the left, describing the activities of the truck, tools, or boat pictured on the right. Lift the full-page flap on the right and see a double spread of the vehicle or tools in action.

This particular title is a little more complex than the others. It includes a harbormaster’s boat, tugboat pilot, car ferry captain, lobsterperson’s boat, coxswain’s boat (part of the Coast Guard), and firefighter’s boat. The final spread shows all the boats previously pictured as toys in a pool. The pictures of the boats include labeled parts like radar transponder, VHF antenna, kort nozzle, and towing winch.

The art has a retro, blocky feel, but includes a wide diversity of skin colors and genders. The back page pictures all the boats again with their names, fishing boat, tugboat, lifeboat, etc. The double pages make the book a little extra bulky and I’ve had issues in the past with them breaking before their time but they are so popular it’s worth replacing them a little more often. I would add additional reinforcement along the hinges of the book’s spine and the folding pages.

I normally stay away from board books like this, especially the cutesy ones that claim to introduce science concepts, great literature, etc. to babies. However, despite the advanced vocabulary, this actually works really well with toddlers and preschoolers. Those obsessed with machinery will sit still for it, and even if they don’t comprehend the different words, enjoy hearing them.

Verdict: This works not only as a cute gift but also as a library title; be prepared to replace it frequently though.

ISBN: 9781419728358; Published 2018 by Abrams Appleseed; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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