Sunday, June 2, 2019

New Book: The Magic Boat

The Magic Boat
by Kit Pearson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a bit of an odd children's book in two ways.
First, it doesn't just have words that relate to the picture on the page. For example, the page will talk of an octopus, a seal and a fish. Yet the page only shows the octopus. I don't think this is a detriment necessarily; but it is a bit different than usual. Given the topic of the book is to use your imagination perhaps it's appropriate...

Second, it implies that you can only use your imagination when you have a friend/another child to share it with. This is a bit of an odd message in my mind. It says that children need to be playing with another child (as Nona is not enough in the book) in order to have a good time using their imagination. I'm not sure how I feel about this message given that there are many children that play on their own.

Author, Kit Pearson, is a very well known Canadian children's/middle grade writer. In fact the first WWII book I read in Grade 3 was written by her (kicking off my love for historical fiction). The Magic Boat is also illustrated by other Canadians; yet the setting could be any beach, anywhere in the world; whether it's near a lake, ocean or sea.
It's also a good book to show that any child of any race can play with one another. This is fairly standard in Canada these days. Canadians are more likely to be upset about a lack of diversity these days than 'upset' by it. Therefore it's very appropriate that our children are of different racial backgrounds; and that we have a boy/girl friendship at the end. These are subtle things that children will not notice; but that help reinforce the lack of noticing we are trying to instill in the younger generation.

Overall I think this is an okay book. I've given it 3.5 stars (and have rounded up to 4) as I like the idea of the story. But one star comes off because of the weird idea that you have to have a friend or another child in order to have imagination fun.

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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1 comment:

Leonore Winterer said...

Huh? You can only use your imagination when playing with others? Come again? I think the best made up stories I ever played through, I did on my own. Other kids just didn't 'see' the same things I did, so it didn't work out so well. That really is a strange thing to be teaching our children!