A red-haired explorer pushes the boundaries of his world by inventing the first sailboat in this debut by author/illustrator Boscacci.
On a small island, in a small village, there lives a “medium sized boy” named Shand. With a curiosity that young readers will recognize, Shand wonders how far the ocean goes. His father has heard that going too far may send people over the edge of the world, but Shand is determined to find out for himself. With creativity inspired by a leaf, Shand enlists his mother to craft a sail, which gives a lovely contrast to the sea in Boscacci’s illustrations. Shand teaches himself to use his “wind catcher” and, facing a storm, learns valuable perseverance and self-confidence. He returns to the village and teaches others to make sails; the world becomes a smaller place. While readers familiar with Disney’s Moana will note familiar themes, they may wish for a little more focus on the action and a little less focus on Shand’s mother’s waiting for him to return. Perceptive readers may wonder how Shand’s people got to their little island without sails in the first place. But the theme of exploring beyond small horizons, particularly when accompanied by Boscacci’s appealing digital seascapes and Shand’s brilliant red sail, will have continual appeal.
This modern myth has the feel of an older story that will appeal to young readers of fairy tales and folklore.