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Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat
Contributor(s): Stead, Philip C.
ISBN: 1596435623     ISBN-13: 9781596435629
Publisher: Roaring Brook
    OUR PRICE: $15.30  
Product Type: School And Library
Published: June 2011
Annotation: When Jonathan's parents decide that he has gotten too old to have a stuffed animal, they trade his favorite bear, Frederick, for a toaster, so he sets off aboard a boat, looking for Frederick.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Voyages and travels; Fiction.
Boats and boating; Fiction.
Teddy bears; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Transportation | Boats, Ships & Underwater Craft
- Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2010012952
Lexile Measure: 600
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 1-2, Age 6-7
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 10.25" H x 10.25" W x 0.50" (1.05 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 144820
Reading Level: 3.0   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q54425
Reading Level: 2.4   Interest Level: Grades K-2   Point Value: 1.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):

Philip C. Stead is the author of the Caldecott Medal winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2010 and a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2010, illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead (A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, 2010). Philip, also an artist, both wrote and illustrated his debut Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast (Roaring Brook Press, 2009), which was applauded by School Library Journal for "its wry humor and illustrations worthy of a Roald Dahl creation." Philip lives with Erin in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall)
When Jonathan's parents trade his teddy bear for a toaster, he takes the Big Blue Boat in search of Frederick, enlisting unlikely (goat, elephant, whale) helpers along the way. Although the premise and writing are too twee, the text's simplicity and rhythm have appeal. Stead's glorious painted-collage illustrations involve all manner of seaworthy papers: stamps, timetables, maps, and nautical charts. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 April #1)

"You're getting too old for a stuffed animal," young Jonathan's parents tell him. "So we traded your bear for a toaster." Jonathan doesn't argue; instead, he drifts down to the wharf to visit the Big Blue Boat he admires. Suddenly he has a plan; with the turn of a page the boat is "steaming like a tea kettle," and Jonathan is off to search the world for his bear, Frederick. Children crave the power to control their own lives, and Jonathan's adventure offers just that. Animal friends join the crew when there's trouble; pirates attack, but they're not too scary. Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee) uses squiggly ink lines and washes of warm color against a background of collaged newsprint, charts, and stamps that underscore the nautical theme and distance traveled. Frederick shows up at the end in the nicest possible way, and Jonathan's slow, reflective journey—filled with pitch-perfect details, sound effects, and vocabulary ("Full steam ahead," "marooned," a cannon's "ker-blammm!!!")—offers a lovely, gentle adventure for younger readers. Ages 4–8. (June)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 June)

K-Gr 3—When Jonathan learns that his parents have traded his stuffed bear for a toaster, he seeks solace at the wharf where he and Frederick have spent happy hours viewing a big blue boat. In a flash of inspiration, Jonathan decides to take the retired vessel on a voyage, around the world if necessary, to find his bear. Several animals join him: a goat who frees the boat marooned overnight atop a mountain, an elephant retired from the circus, and a whale that saves the sinking ship after it is fired upon by pirates. They eventually arrive at a pawnshop where they find the girl who now owns Frederick, and she and the bear also come aboard. Youngsters will enjoy repeating the sentence that announces each traveler's addition to the expedition: "And that is how ___ came to sail the sea on a Big Blue Boat." And they will especially relish poring over the collage, acrylic, and ink artwork. Sepia-colored vignettes alternate with large illustrations that incorporate maps, stamps from distant places, postcards, and marine signals. Stead skillfully employs color to reflect Jonathan's mood: an initial bright sky when the boy and Frederick are together, growing darkness as he sets off alone, and a final scene in which an orange-bright "globe" sun beams its rays on the reunited travelers. A gentle tale heralding imagination's triumph over disappointment.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT

[Page 96]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.