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There's A Book

Toy Boat by Randall De Seve and Illustrated by Loren Long

Published by Philomel Books (An imprint of Penguin)

Pages: 40

Ages: 2 and up

Publishers Summary: A little boy has a toy boat. He made it out of a can, a cork, a yellow pencil, and some white cloth. The boy and his boat are inseparable, until one day when the wind pushes the toy boat out into the wide lake. Alone now, the little boat must face fierce waves, a grumpy ferry, a sassy schooner, and a growling speed boat. How the little boat misses the boy! But if he is going to survive, he must figure a way to do it on his own.

Loren Long has a timeless and magical touch. As he did with The Little Engine That Could, he creates a world of toys and children that go right to the soul. Toy Boat will sail into young hearts and stay there.

The Turkeybird Speaks: “This is an amazing book! The boat in here steals the show for sure. Not to mention all of the other big boats he runs into! It’s incredible! He gets taken out into the ocean and thrown around in a storm, then almost run over by a huge boat! Whoa!

“The only part I don’t like is when the boat gets sad because he’s not with his little boy anymore. It’s just so sad. I know if he were my boat I would be sad and would want him to come back home. But it gets better! The boat makes it home and the little boy is so so happy to see him! I could read this book over and over again, thank goodness my mom likes it so much!”

Mom’s Two Cents: “Not too long ago I wrote a post titled, Parents vs. Children: When We Love Books Our Kids Don’t. It was all about me venting that my tastes and the tastes of Turkeybird and Littlebug were sometimes very very different. Toy Boat made the list of books I loved that Turkeybird did not. Well, the day has finally come that he is loving this wonderful book and I couldn’t be happier! Not that I don’t enjoy reading pretty much anything to him, but it’s so nice when you both love a book.

“Everything about this book is delightful. Initially I picked up Toy Boat because I’m a bit of an illustration snob and Loren Long is one of my absolute favorites. If you don’t agree, I’d hope to persuade you to take a look at her website. Everything she illustrates is gorgeous. Besides the illustrations, I was drawn to the little boy, so much like my own. So often in his own little world with just a few favorite toys and books keeping him constantly thinking.

Toy Boat though is not so much about the little boy, but the boat itself. His adventure away from the boy and into the unknown is so similar to the life we all experience at some point. He travels, at first excited at the wonderment before him, but soon longs for the boy he left behind. With sudden hopelessness engulfing him the boat is met by another friendly, but bigger boat who gently guides him back to the boy he loves. And the boy…is there on the beach eagerly awaiting the toy boat’s return.

“This is a story I hope to share with both Turkeybird and Littlebug for some time. It’s exciting to be able to share a story that means so much to me with Turkeybird now and see his excitement as we read along together. Toy Boat has so much meaning to be gained and I know as they both grow, the meaning will change for each of them. But for now, I’m happy to share the excitement of the little boy as his boat returns from his big adventure across the sea!”

Please take a look at the illustrator’s website, Loren Long children’s book gallery, for some amazing sketch to finished image comparisons. You will be astounded at how beautiful they are!

Some other Randall and Peter DeSeve books you might enjoy!
(There’s at least one of these I think a certain Whimsical blogger might just adore!)

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 3 and up. Wonderful illustrations, a fantastic adventure and a touching meaning make this a perfect book for kiddos to “grow” into.

For the Comments: How do illustrations affect your buying decisions when it comes to children’s books? Make or break?

This book was purchased for our home library.
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with
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6 Responses to Book Review: Toy Boat by Randall DeSeve and Illustrated by Loren Long

  1. OMG This sounds so cute.
    And may I just say, I’m in LOVE with the art!
    I wish I could make the Duchess of Whimsy my avatar.
    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cute!

  2. NotNessie says:

    LOL, Juju.

    I have to agree, this book looks completely fantastic. Another one for the girls’ wishlist!

  3. […] our review for Toy Boat, a fantastic picture book filled with Loren Long’s gorgeous […]

  4. […] a huge fan of Loren Long’s illustrations! Toy Boat by Randall DeSeve and Otis and the Tornado by Long himself are both two huge hits with both myself and the kiddos. So […]

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