Boats: fast and slow by Iris Volant

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Ill. by Jarom Vogel. Flying Eye Books, 2018. ISBN 9781911171522
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Themes: Boats, Non fiction, History, Survival, Exploration, Migration. The history of boats is entwined with the history of people around the world, as people look for food, conquer other countries, build boats as a sign of their power and influence, explore, migrate to new worlds, and use boats for festivals and races.
From the beginning of this beautifully presented non fiction book, readers will eagerly read of the ways boats have developed and changed according to what is required by the population. The first few pages are devoted to a definition of a boat: a vessel to carry people across water, and then to elaborate on the different sorts of boats that we may see. From there the book divides into four sections: "The first boats", "War boats", "Work boats" and "Leisure boats" with a double page between each section showcasing one particular boat that is well known.
Each section gives detail about the style of boat and what it is used for and where and when. In "War boats", for example is a page on Viking longships and Pirates, while "Work boats" introduces the Cutty Sark as well as steam boats. Double pages are devoted to famous boats, like the legendary Nautilius and Ra's barge, HMS Beagle and Spray.
Readers will love reading of these famous ships and how they influenced our lives. After a fascinating read, children will find two pages outlining the Semaphore flags and then a further double page offers an illustrated index. Each of the endpapers has a map of the world with illustrations showing where some fo the boats resided.
All in all a wonderful read to educate and entertain, making sure children and adults will know what they are looking at when they visit some of these magnificent boats.
Fran Knight