Monday, November 4, 2013

Baby's Boat

I dare you to not fall in love with Baby's Boat.  I really do.  I also hope you don't have to pay $160.36 for a copy, which is apparently what it's retailing for on, these days.  Listen, I don't know why some of the best books in the world sometimes go out of print, but I want to be sure to feature some of them, so that you know to grab them if you come across one of these titles someday at a yard sale or whatever.

I didn't realize it until I was doing some research for this post, but the text of Baby's Boat is evidently the lyrics of an old lullaby.  Even without knowing and appreciating that song, I instantly melted when I first saw this book.  The soft illustrations feature this little sweetie "sailing" in a sea of blankets and pillows, with her teddy bear nearby.  To me, it is always reminiscent of the beloved Wynken, Blynken & Nod.

Gorilla donned her purple to match the book.  Not really.

What is it about the moon and the stars?  They just make for such a magical backdrop for the classic Wynken, Blynken & Nod, and for Jeanne Titherington's Baby's Boat.  I had no problem reading this one to my sons, and it was in fact a bedtime favorite of my firstborn's for quite some time.  But this book's main character is a little girl, and I've enjoyed introducing it to my daughter.  The simple text is sweet and lovely, and includes two repetitions of this heart stirring refrain:

Sail, baby, sail
Out upon that sea,
Only don't forget to sail
Back again to me.

This little picture book only has 72 words, and I included 16 (or really 32, since those are repeated) above for you.  I think both its subject matter and brevity make it a great choice for a very young baby, or for in utero reading (if you're into that!) or for bedtime, or all of the above.  When I was pregnant with my oldest child, I routinely read aloud two books that I wanted him to recognize once he was in my arms: Baby's Boat and Bear Snores On.

Maybe he recognized them and maybe he didn't, but I will say they were both favorites of his from early on, and I offer these old pictures as proof.  Aww.  Wasn't he a cute little guy? (Don't take his frown/serious expression as displeasure.  He has always taken seriously the task of concentrating on a book.)

I hope you'll find this one someday, somewhere, and be able to snatch it up for something less than your car payment.  But....looking back on these sweet pictures, maybe it (and the memories you'll make with your babe) is worth your car payment after all.

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