FICTION

Tugboat

illus. by Michael Garland. 32p. ebook available. Holiday House. Mar. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823428663. LC 2012040059.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 1—Don't judge a boat by its size. This sturdy tugboat shines in its service to others, assisting a cargo ship and a barge and providing support for people working on the mighty seas. While some phrases are fairly nondescript, other examples drive home the tugboat's importance with a powerful punch. "A tugboat is small, but its engine is strong." A clear glossary defines terms found in the succinct narrative, such as "barge" and "port," while a brief concluding note about the Willis Avenue Bridge adds a few details to the text. A table of contents page seems unnecessary for the brief story line; "At the Dock" is listed as an entry, though the entire section reads, "The day begins. The tugboat rests at the dock." Though the beginning and ending suggest the passing of time, middle scenes focus on a variety of weather conditions. The tugboat struggles in a snowstorm on one spread and then assists a cruise ship carrying passengers to their sunny vacation. Artwork created with graphite pencil and digital tools adds a hazy glow and plays with perspective as the little boat bobs on the vast ocean. This title is a strong read-aloud for those looking to add transportation books to their collections.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC
Slim text and bold graphite-pencil and digital illustrations demonstrate the many ways a small but mighty tugboat is useful in New York City's waterways. While there isn't much substantial information about tugs, the layout and design will please preschoolers looking for the latest in transportation literature. Includes a table of contents, glossary, and a note about NYC's Willis Avenue Bridge.

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