Review Blog

Sep 27 2012

Louise builds a boat by Louise Pfanner

cover image

Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 9781 921977 76 3.
(Ages 5+) Highly recommended. Picture book. Building. As with the amiable Louise builds a house, this story of Louise now building a boat after finishing the house which she gave to her sister, is just as lively and involving, with the determined Louise planning and executing her dream. Each double page has the boat in progress on the verso, with its small beginnings growing as she talks about what the boat will have and the reason for its being there, on the recto.
The boat develops from a shell with a wooden deck, to a boat having a mast, plank, figurehead and signal flags, each stage being unambiguously illustrated with boldly coloured drawings against an unadorned white background.
As the book proceeds, more attachments are added, a reason given for each new addition. So the readers see the cabin and galley, the anchor, dinghy and sails, as each is given a reason for its inclusion. Readers will not only learn the parts of a boat and the reason for their being built, but will work alongside Louise as she builds her dream, finally being able to sail around the world visiting friends.
In a classroom this would make an excellent introduction to a unit of work about building, or boats or world maps. The use of this lovely book is unlimited and will make an excellent read aloud story, if the teacher can haul it back from the kids!
Fran Knight

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