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How it feels to be a boat
by Kwan, James,
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Book
J P K
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, [2017]
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 27 cm.
 
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Howe Library J P K Children's picture books Available
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"As a little boat's high seas adventures get underway, disagreeable passengers make her seasick. When she runs aground, will teamwork turn the tide?"--

Syndetic Solutions - The Horn Book Review for ISBN Number 9780544715332
How It Feels to Be a Boat
How It Feels to Be a Boat
by Kwan, James
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The Horn Book Review

How It Feels to Be a Boat

The Horn Book


(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kwan provides a warm, kooky existential exploration of what it means to be a someone. (The opening dedication To Chloe: Welcome to Earth! seemingly provides his motivation.) A second-person narrative speaks directly to viewers: You are a boat. Ahoy, ahoy! Raise your crooked anchor and head out to sea. The boat is filled with cavernous rooms that house unusual characters--an octopus, a superhero, two gnomes, a brass band playing doot-doot tunes--along with one big pink furnace-heart. The boat sails some perilous seas, with interior squabbles and exterior threats. But strength, smarts, and an eye to the horizon see her through. Quixotic, individual language is matched by scratchy, cartoonlike illustrations, by turns ominous and reassuring in just the right places, and with playful details that add layers of understanding. Visionary and unique, this is the sort of book one could never predict, but one whose resonance is impossible to deny. thom barthelmess (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Syndetic Solutions - Kirkus Review for ISBN Number 9780544715332
How It Feels to Be a Boat
How It Feels to Be a Boat
by Kwan, James
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Kirkus Review

How It Feels to Be a Boat

Kirkus Reviews


Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Using the metaphor of a boat on a journey, this second-person story celebrates the richness and possibility of living. A little boat ("You are a boat") sets off on its journey. Inside its "belly-rooms" are its quirky inhabitantspersonifications of the feelings, sensations, and potentials found in us all. There is (among others) the Chef, a white person in a toque who cooks up "sweet doughy smell[s]," the Big Brass Band who plays a "doot-doot tune," Daniel, a boy who appears to be Asian and sings "lee lee lee doo," and a gadget-loving Octopus. And what happens when they don't get along? Well, the little boat crashesshown in an effective wordless spread. But remember, author/illustrator Kwan tells readers in his second-person narration, "you are strong, and piece by crooked piece you are made." The little boat is repaired by its inhabitants and continues: "You are crooked but you are strong. / You are a boat. / Ahoy, Ahoy!" This poignant yet lighthearted affirmation asserts the uniqueness of each individual and reassures readers that while life is complex, sometimes messy, and even occasionally catastrophic, it is all part of the journey. While the topic may seem a bit mature or daunting for very young readers, the story has such quirky sparkle that even if readers don't quite get its meaning, they will be delighted with its sense of playfulness. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Syndetic Solutions - Publishers Weekly Review for ISBN Number 9780544715332
How It Feels to Be a Boat
How It Feels to Be a Boat
by Kwan, James
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Publishers Weekly Review

How It Feels to Be a Boat

Publishers Weekly


(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kwan (Dear Yeti) explores themes of weathering the unexpected and pushing on anyway in an allegorical story that excitedly informs readers, "You are a boat. Ahoy! Ahoy!" Though children may be at the helm of their vessels, the sailing isn't always smooth. Rather than bring in an obvious storm metaphor, Kwan digs into internal conflicts, personified by the passengers occupying the "belly-rooms" of the boat: a cross-section reveals a busy baker, a brass band playing "your favorite doot-doot tune," an octopus, superhero, and others. Sometimes they fight: "When they yell your belly aches, your heart shrinks, and your rooms shiver. You are strong, but sometimes you tremble." After a crash leaves the boat in pieces, the passengers join forces to rebuild it and mend its broken "furnace-heart." In shadowy mixed-media images, Kwan creates a cozy hybrid tugboat-paddleboat that feels distinctly kidlike in its proportions-its very quirkiness, along with its eccentric inhabitants, quietly suggests that we're all a bit wonky and weird on the inside. A sophisticated allegory for the curveballs life lobs and the way we respond, it's tailor-made for family conversations. Ages 4-7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

 
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