Sal Boat: A Boat by Sal by Thyra Heder

Published by Harry N. Abrams

Summary:  Sal loves the water and dreams of having a boat of his own.  Being a kid, though, he can’t buy a boat, so he decides to build one.  He scavenges materials from wherever he can find them: the garage, a builder’s castoffs, the marina’s dumpster.  Word soon gets around, and everyone has questions to ask and advice to offer.  But Sal is an independent kid, and he knows what he wants.  He finds a secluded spot and starts to build.  Before long, though, one thing becomes apparent: Sal’s boat looks like a house.  But Sal stubbornly clings to the notion that it’s a boat.  Disaster strikes when it’s time to launch the boat.  Try as he might, Sal can’t get it into the water.  He’s just about to destroy the whole thing when he hears, “Wait!”  His family, neighbors, and friends have shown up, ready to get to work.  At last, Sal’s boat is afloat, and he can enjoy a solitary sail…surrounded by the canoes, kayaks, and rowboats filled with all the people who helped him.  48 pages; ages 4-8.  

Pros:  This winning story with enchanting illustrations shows the power of determination and independence…and also accepting help when you need it.  The final picture is a lovely celebration of community.

Cons:  This would be a great read for Talk Like a Pirate Day, but unfortunately, you’ll have to wait another 364 days for it to come around again.

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