Harvey, Jeanne Walker. Boats on the Bay. Gracy McFerrin, Illus. Picture Book. Cameron Kids, 09/2018. pp. $17.95. 978-1-944903-33-6. HIGH ADDITIONAL. GRADES PRE-2.
Beginning in the foggy morning, and finishing in the evening, this circular picture book highlights a number of boats that can been seen on a typical day off the shores of a major metropolitan area. Full-page spreads highlight gorgeous, retro-inspired ink-and-collage illustrations, the color palette being generally muted with a few pops of color to draw the eye around. A spectacular double gatefold toward the end of the book features a wordless spread of fireworks exploding over the San Francisco skyline and is sure to elicit wows. Each spread also features one simple, lyrical sentence which often contains an internal rhyme (“A tugboat lugs big ships.” “A houseboat rocks by a dock.”). Though clearly set on the San Francisco Bay (the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz can be seen in separate spreads), there is enough ambiguity throughout to garner wider appeal. This book has California-specific content.
Eric Barbus, San Francisco Public Library