Samantha R. Vamos, author
Samantha R. Vamos is the author of The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred, a Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book, Alphabet Trucks, and Before You Were Here, Mi Amor (Viking Juvenile). Samantha lives near Seattle, Washington.
Read more about Samantha.
Ryan O'Rourke, illustrator
For many years Ryan O'Rourke's illustrations have appeared in galleries, newspapers, and magazines, including a weekly illustration for the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. One Big Rain marks Ryan's foray into children's picture books. He makes his home in Connecticut.
Read more about Ryan.
Ahoy! "Raise the anchor. / Grab the oars. / Chart a course / to distant shores. "The opening rhyme sets the scene for this alphabetic litany of boats. Who knew there were so many types? Each letter/type occupies a single page and is accompanied by a simple, one- or two-sentence definition. Some are obvious choices: C for catamaran; K for kayak; T for tugboat. Others are more obscure, at least to outsiders to sailing culture: Q for Q-boat, an armed merchant ship; X for X boat, a small dinghy used to teach beginners. A few are real things but may seem forced to those not in the know: N for narrow boat; V for very slender vessel. Most are presented in a clear context, and for those that are not (U for umiak, "used for migration and trade"; Z for zebec, "a merchant ship light and fast"), readers may consult the closing glossary for a bit more information. The computer art is attractive, adding whimsy by incorporating the letters into each picture. For instance, the illustration of the dory shows people fishing and reeling in D's instead of fish, and the submarine browses the depths surrounded by fish and S's. This companion to Alphabet Trains (2015) and Alphabet Trucks (2013) offers opportunities for classroom use as well as learning for boat enthusiasts.
School Library Journal
Rhyming text and digital illustrations capture watertight conveyances of all shapes and sizes in this cheerful alphabet book. One to two sentences are spent on each letter of the alphabet all while describing a special type of boat. “K is for kayak, long and narrow to move faster. L is for lifeboat—rescue in case of disaster.” An uncomplicated rhyme scheme helps the story become a read-aloud and encourages young readers to try some of the harder words like moor or shoal. Delightful digital illustrations showcase the letter in various uppercase and lowercase forms throughout each page, and children will delight in finding the letters on each page. VERDICT: A first purchase for libraries looking to expand their ABC or transportation shelves.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-977-8 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-978-5 PDF
Page count: 32
10 x 7
Correlated to Common Core State Standards:
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Informational. Kindergarten. Standards 1-8, 10
English Language Arts-Literacy. Reading Informational. Grade 1. Standards 1-4, 6-8, 10