Tuesday, July 03, 2018

How It Feels To Be A Boat

How It Feels To Be A Boat. James Kwan. 2017. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Ahoy, ahoy! Raise your crooked anchor and head out to sea, as your foghorn howls and barnacles tickle your bottom.

Premise/plot: What does it feel like to be a boat? Well, Kwan's imagination has led him to explore just that in his new picture book.
In your belly everyone gets along, but sometimes they fight. When they yell your belly aches, your heart shrinks, and your rooms shiver. You are strong, but sometimes you tremble. 
From inside your belly you smell a delicious thing and hear your favorite doot-doot tune and feel everyone singing and moving together: lee lee lee doo.
My thoughts: My first thought upon reading this one is why does this book exist?! My second thought was who is the intended audience?! Fair or not fair those were my initial impressions.

Is this a story picture book for young children encouraging active--or over-active imaginations? Perhaps. Is this a picture book for young adults soon to graduate and enter 'the real world'?

It didn't work for me personally as either. Either as an imaginative storybook or as an allegory or metaphor for life it was just unsettling. Are the different "rooms" in the boat and the different characters who live on the boat representative of desires, needs, wants, opportunities? Do they represent multiple personalities? Because most of the challenging aspects of being a boat come from within the boat itself--not the stormy seas, not the obstacles at sea or near shore.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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