cover image Boats on the Bay

Boats on the Bay

Jeanne Walker Harvey, illus. by Grady McFerrin. Cameron Kids, $17.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-944903-33-6

Warm, affectionate portraits by debut illustrator McFerrin, of boats and ships in the waters off San Francisco, bring the life of the sea right up close. Fluid, expressive lines in blues, browns, and reds trace the vessels’ contours, the rigging of tall ships and fishing boats, even the distinctive architecture of the houses that overlook the water. Straightforward text by Harvey (Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines) sails from verse (“Boats on the bay get ready for the day”) to ordinary prose (“A ferry carries passengers”) to internal rhyme (“A tugboat lugs big ships”). Each spread features a different sort of vessel and its characteristics: “A fireboat fans water high and wide.” The action reaches a high point as two adult men and a boy on a long, flat boat put on a display—“A barge sets off fiery fireworks”—and a gatefold reveals spectacular fireworks exploding above San Francisco, its bridges, and other architectural landmarks standing out against the evening sky. It’s a celebration of place and a catalogue of the kinds of vessels dear to the hearts of boat enthusiasts young and old. Ages 4–8. [em](Aug.) [/em]