Boats for Papa

Boats for PapaBy Jessixa Bagley

In this short, yet sweet and touching picture book, Buckley and his mama don’t have much. Papa isn’t around, but Buckley and Mama make the best of what they do have. Buckley likes to go to the beach and collect things. Soon, he starts making boats out of what he finds. He decides to send his boats off to his papa with a note attached, so papa knows where they came from.

What happens one day while Buckley is looking for paper in mama’s desk is a little heartbreaking and shows just how much love a parent can have for their kids. The last page shows how deep a kids love for their parent can go.

Younger kids probably won’t recognize the message in the book and they won’t appreciate the gorgeous illustrations in the book. Because it’s a picture book, I wouldn’t recommend it to kids older than 4th grade, unless you know that they have a situation similar to Buckley’s. It would’ve been nice to have an idea of what happened to Buckley’s papa— did he get lost at sea one day? Has he passed away? Are Mama and Papa divorced? I guess each person that reads it can come to their own conclusion, but for me, it seemed like that was a huge part in the story that was missing.

Review by Allyson Rolfe, Granger Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 2-4

Author Website: http://www.jessixa.com/

Boats for Papa
By Jessixa Bagley
Roaring Brook Press
40 pages
Release Date: June 30, 2015

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