The Book

A Boy's Boat tells the story of eleven-year-old Jack and Petit Bateau, the eleven-foot-long dinghy that Jack's grandfather made for him. During Jack's summer of learning how to row, sail, and scull the boat, he comes to know all the creatures of a small cove, the joy of warm sunny mornings on the water, as well as the darker shades of nature and the challenges they present for a small boy and his small boat.

Jack's journey of becoming one with his boat and the creatures of the cove is quietly guided by a trio of thoughtful and caring adults: his grandfather, his grandmother, and a wise handyman named John. Their love for Jack and their gentle choreography of the summer's events steer Jack toward moments of discovery both of the cove and himself.

In a world of virtual video games and fantasy, A Boy's Boat shines a light on the importance and power of small hands grasping wooden oars, the deep and ancient connections humans have with nature, and the gift of elders' wisdom. At the end of the summer, Jack has become the skipper of his own boat. His understanding of the creatures of the cove, his grandparents, John, and himself has forever been changed.


Illustrations by Ian Grabinski