cover image I Want a Boat

I Want a Boat

Liz Garton Scanlon, illus. by Kevan Atteberry. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4715-2

On this book’s title page, a child with a mop of red hair and dot eyes finds a wooden box among garbage outside and drags it indoors. “I have a box. I want a boat,” writes Scanlon (Thank You, Garden), and the child’s imagination does the rest. A rudder appears, and a green sail. With the boat sorted, the adventure needs getting: “I have a sail. I want the sea!” results in ocean waves lapping at the bedroom rug, witnessed by a small crew of stuffed animals. Soon underway, the sailor is accompanied by a friendly sea turtle, a striped fish, and three stuffed animals to serve as the crew. Atteberry (Ghost Cat) creates a toy-box world of soft forms, scribble-shadowed waves, and swirling breezes. When “I have the sky. I want a storm” conjures a tempest that blows the crew overboard, the child’s surroundings-shaping power makes it reasonably easy to restore calm. The draw of the story is the young protagonist’s ability to brings needs to life via imagination—power that Scanlon emphasizes with the punch of repeating, easily memorized prose. Ages 4–6. [em]Agent (for Scanlon and Atteberry): Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary. (June) [/em]