A large-format picture book about a bunch of boats found on a busy bay, buoyed by simple, spare, and lyrical text. Inspired by the San Francisco Bay but with universal appeal, the book features a spectacular double-spread gatefold finale showing a boat parade and fireworks glowing against a city backdrop.
Ages 4 - 8
The author donates her proceeds to CALL OF THE SEA, an educational nonprofit based in Sausalito, California, that gives Bay Area youth an opportunity to sail traditional tallships, investigate the local marine environment, connect to the Bay’s richmaritime history, and inspire them to be stewards of the sea and earth.
"Warm, affectionate portraits ... of boats and ships in the waters off San Francisco, bring the life of the sea right up close. Fluid, expressive lines in blues, browns, and reds trace the vessels’ contours, the rigging of tall ships and fishing boats, even the distinctive architecture of the houses that overlook the water.
Straightforward text... sails from verse ('Boats on the bay get ready for the day') to ordinary prose ('A ferry carries passengers') to internal rhyme ('A tugboat lugs big ships').
Each spread features a different sort of vessel and its characteristics: 'A fireboat fans water high and wide.' The action reaches a high point as two adult men and a boy on a long, flat boat put on a display—'A barge sets off fiery fireworks'—and a gatefold reveals spectacular fireworks exploding above San Francisco, its bridges, and other architectural landmarks standing out against the evening sky.
It’s a celebration of place and a catalogue of the kinds of vessels dear to the hearts of boat enthusiasts young and old." Publishers Weekly
"Boats that ply the waters of California’s San Francisco Bay Area are highlighted in this picture book.
Beginning with “A houseboat rocks by a dock,” Harvey uses short sentences, with occasional internal rhymes, to introduce readers to a day of boat life on the bay. The text’s brevity is juxtaposed against McFerrin’s full-bleed double-page spreads, which, with their retro palette, cut-collage shapes, and freehand drawing overlay, are reminiscent of mid-20th-century advertising graphics ...
The narrative ... is completely approachable, with a pleasing circularity, as the story ends where it began—with the houseboat, now at the end of the day.
The book’s design is well thought out; the page turn after the text, “A barge sets off fiery fireworks” becomes a wordless double gatefold as the scene lifts up to show fireworks against the city skyline with boats and water in the foreground.
Pleasingly, the book’s boards are imprinted with a design different from the dust jacket.
A well-designed book with a simple, approachable text..." Kirkus