Picture Book Review: Old Wood Boat

Old Wood Boat by Nikki McClure

Old Wood Boat
by Nikki McClure

5 out of 5 stars

An Old Wood Boat waits on dry land, waits for someone to return her to the sea where she used to roam. She is beginning to rot away when a family rescues her and repairs her. They give her new sails and better planking. When Old Wood Boat is ready, she is launched back into the water. They set sail together searching for adventures on the ocean.

I loved this beautiful book! The story is so simple, but there is deep meaning in each sentence. I loved the descriptions of every little detail surrounding the ship and her family.

The writing uses such powerful descriptive words that it brings an emotional and almost tactile influence into the story. When they are repairing the boat, we have strong words like, “tow, scrape, sand, caulk, mend, sew, hang, and tighten.” When they are sailing, we get the joy of it in words like “race, sparkle, dart, scuttle, dance, and splash.” Then the family are rocked to sleep in their berths at night, and the words are soothing like “quiet, gentle, share, dream, glows, and holds.”
Beautiful writing! So vivid and solid and real. It puts the reader right into the story.

There is a lovely cadence to the sentence structure too; almost like waves pulling in and out. It puts you under a magic spell like the ocean and the moon and the wind can do.

I really liked the minimalist art style. The thick black lines and blue color scheme are very distinct. There is a balance of lightness and weight that is graceful despite the heaviness of the black ink. The art conveys powerful emotions with a simplicity that cuts right to your heart. I can’t explain it, but each page really had an impact on me.

My favorite part of the book is a diagram of the insides of Old Wood Boat, listing all the provisions the family has stocked for their journey. There are a lot of noodles and ginger ale in the galley, and there are a lot of books in their berths. There is even a small “library” shelf. These are my kind of sailors!

I’ve always been fascinated by sailing, and this book has only inspired me even more!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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