cover image Blue Boat

Blue Boat

Kersten Hamilton, illus. by Valeria Petrone. Viking, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-451-47141-3

Hamilton and Petrone follow Red Truck and Yellow Copter with the story of Blue Boat, an anthropomorphic tugboat with a sweet smile and a female captain at the helm. Receiving a distress call from a family stranded on a red sailboat, Blue Boat and the captain attempt to save the day before a brewing storm makes the waters impassible. Petrone's smooth, chunky shapes evoke the feeling of bathtub toys, counterbalancing the growing tension. Hamilton, meanwhile, creates a pleasing mix of rhyme, alliteration, and sound effects: "Ding! Ding! Ding!/ Decks awash!/ Clouds churn black./ Rescue vessels/ must... turn... back.../ all but Blue Boat." Readers who are entertaining dreams of captaining a ship someday will celebrate the brave efforts of this "rough, tough tugboat." A board book edition is available simultaneously. Ages 2%E2%80%935. Author's agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary. Illustrator's agent: Gail Gaynin, Morgan Gaynin. (May)