A Little Ferry Tale (Chad Otis)

Hello, friends! Our book today is A Little Ferry Tale by Chad Otis, a sweet nautical fable about the value of diverse talents.

Little Ferry, a hardworking seacraft in “a place with more water than land” has humble strengths: she is patient, quiet, careful, and punctual. While that makes her very good at her job, she can’t help but envy the other boats, whom her passengers always cheer and whoop for. They love fearless Tugboat, thundery Speedboat, and graceful Sailboat, but no one pays much mind to quiet and dependable Ferry. She tries to emulate her water-bound companions, but Ferry’s not really made to be anything other than she is – but how can she make a splash if she was built to be slow and steady?

A very cute affirmation of the value in unique talents. As readers might guess, while her companions may have flashier attributes, Ferry’s patience and dependability, as well as her courage, end up saving the day. It’s a classic if well-worn plot, but Otis’s well-paced story and charming nautical illustrations give it a fresh twist. I particularly loved the visual of a red-hatted child playing with model ships, which readers might miss on the first read-through yet pays off beautifully on the final page. The length is fine for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed this one a lot. Overall, a lovely little tale of self-acceptance, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Mighty Tug (Alyssa Satin Capucilli)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Mighty Tug, written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated by David Mottram, a cute tale of a tiny yet tough boat.

As morning dawns over the harbor, Mighty Tug lets out a “CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG”, then gets to work. She has a busy job to do, guiding and towing the much larger boats safely around the docks and each other. She hauls great shipping boats and old fishing schooners, fast yachts and even a fireboat on its way to extinguish a blaze. And after a long day of hard work, she receives a wink from Lady Liberty, then looks out with pride over her busy, beloved harbor.

Simple yet sweet. The plot is very basic, looking mostly at a day in the life of a New York Harbor tugboat and the many different types of ships and boats that she interacts with, without much rising or falling tension. This isn’t a bad thing, and young fans of boats and other nautical craft will go wild over the adorable illustrations of Tug and her companions. In fact, I loved that Tug was given feminine pronouns; it’s nice for these “big vehicle” books to represent the machines as both male and female, and there’s something lovely about the metaphor of a little female ship having a ton of power to move around much bigger ships. The text is sweet, with plenty of onomatopoeia for little ones to enjoy, but the rhyme scheme was often very confusing and clunky, which made reading it aloud a bit difficult. Still, the length was good, and JJ seemed to enjoy it. This one had some choppy waters, but it would still be a treat for any young maritime enthusiast, so we’re calling it Baby Bookworm approved!