Old wood boat

Nikki McClure

Book - 2022

"Raise the sails and follow the wind across the green sea in this captivating marriage of lyrical prose and intricate illustrations from a renowned West Coast artist. Old wood boat remembers the wind. Dilapidated and parted from the sea, she remembers and waits as her mast cracks and blackberry vines creep across her deck. But one day, a family tows her home. Scraped, scrubbed, sanded, and varnished, she is made beautiful and seaworthy again. After libations have been poured out, the family casts off, and old wood boat embarks on adventure once more. In this love letter to sailing, heralded artist Nikki McClure tells the story of a restored boat in timeless and reverent prose that perfectly accompanies her stunning cut-paper illustrati...ons. At once delicate and bold, each page is masterful, rendered from a single sheet of black paper with precision and care that is sure to enthrall readers from coast to coast."--

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Picture books
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press 2022.
Main Author
Nikki McClure (author)
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 28 cm
4-8 years.
Grades preschool-3.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

This evocative picture book conveys the sights and sounds of sailing through descriptive text and detailed cut-paper illustrations. Told from the point of view of the boat, the narrative begins when the boat is already old. Having experienced many voyages, it now rests in a boatyard, almost forgotten. A family arrives, checks out the boat from top to bottom, and decides they want to bring her back to seaworthy life. After long hours scraping, scrubbing, repairing, and varnishing, the family loads her up with supplies and prepares to launch. Everyone waits anxiously to see if the old wood boat will float. She does, and when the wind fills the sails, the reader feels the family's excitement and satisfaction. They take off, the boat remembering the wonderful feelings of protecting a family as they explore the water. The movement of the water, wind, and sails is captured in the flowing illustrations. Changing perspectives give the story visual drama, coming in close as they work on the boat, taking a wider view when they go out to sea.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A quiet start to this creation by McClure (What Will These Hands Make?) gives little hint of the adventure to come. Old Wood Boat, up on drydock cradles in a yard, "remembers islands and a sea of green." But blackberries twine over the deck, raccoons move in, "and still she waits, softening, oldening." Then a family arrives--one member shakes the elderly boat owner's hand--and the trio of seeming adults (all characters have paper-white skin) set about bringing Old Wood Boat back to life. McClure's striking cut-paper illustrations capture the three as they "scrape and scrub," mending sails while raindrops pelt down outside, then "sand and varnish her until she shines." Even the triumph of a successful launch is just one peak in the story's driving arc. Now the family sails on, encountering the sweep of the ocean and its wildlife--and engaging with the secrets of the boat, too, revealed in an intricate cross-section. McClure uses the language of the sea lyrically ("Old Wood Boat gains speed with the ebb/ and rides the swells with ease"), evoking an unforgettable sense of freedom yielded by wind, salt air, and spray. Back matter includes a glossary and author's note. Ages 4--8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)

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Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3--This unusual story is told from the perspective of an old wooden boat that journeys from the boatyard of an elderly man to the open sea when freshly repaired. Readers meet Old Wood Boat covered in brambles and home to small creatures. When a family buys the boat, she is refurbished to her former glory and taken out to sea. Reminiscent of Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House, the ebb and flow of the narrative mirrors the rocking of a boat and the simple text clearly describes each development in the the boat's rebirth. Beautiful prose ("scraps from the past hidden in vines") capture the heart of the story. The stunning paper-cut illustrations stand out with their striking images and intricate details. McClure has written a gorgeous homage of sailing and the sea. Includes a glossary of sailing vocabulary and a two-page blueprint showing the boat's inner workings. VERDICT This book will fit well in all collections regardless of readers' proximity to the sea. Repeat readings will be demanded; children will want to take a closer look at the pictures.--Heidi Dechief

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