Ahoy! “Raise the anchor. / Grab the oars. / Chart a course / to distant shores.”
The opening rhyme sets the scene for this alphabetic litany of boats. Who knew there were so many types? Each letter/type occupies a single page and is accompanied by a simple, one- or two-sentence definition. Some are obvious choices: C for catamaran; K for kayak; T for tugboat. Others are more obscure, at least to outsiders to sailing culture: Q for Q-boat, an armed merchant ship; X for X boat, a small dinghy used to teach beginners. A few are real things but may seem forced to those not in the know: N for narrow boat; V for very slender vessel. Most are presented in a clear context, and for those that are not (U for umiak, “used for migration and trade”; Z for zebec, “a merchant ship light and fast”), readers may consult the closing glossary for a bit more information. The computer art is attractive, adding whimsy by incorporating the letters into each picture. For instance, the illustration of the dory shows people fishing and reeling in D’s instead of fish, and the submarine browses the depths surrounded by fish and S’s.
This companion to Alphabet Trains (2015) and Alphabet Trucks (2013) offers opportunities for classroom use as well as learning for boat enthusiasts. (Picture book. 5-8)