#179 – All About Boats: A to Z by David & Zora Aiken

5 stars
All About Boats: A to Z
David & Zora Aiken
Schiffer Publishing
No. Pages:  32       Ages: 6 to 8

Back Cover:  Boating time is family time as everyone often shares both the fun and the work. Even young children are eager to help. Their curiosity is roused and they’ll look for ways to learn more about boating. All About Books: A to Z shows the youngest crew members the purpose of the many things they see while boating. The book can prompt conversations about all aspects of boating as families develop their onboard teamwork.

All About Boats: A to Z is a unique alphabet book. For one, it is written for older children who already know their ABCs. A boating term, beginning with that page’s letter, helps a child learn about boats and boating terms. A rhyming verse explains the term in a light, easy tone. Finally, the illustrations add further explanation of the term.

For example, the letter K’s word is keel.

Most boats have a keel—

It’s part of the design.

A sailboat’s deep keel

Helps hold a straight line.

The illustration for letter K is a sailboat on transparent water, allowing the child to see the keel on the sailboat. This is a great way for anyone to learn something new. The more senses involved, the better the retention.

All About Boats: A to Z uses sight and sound, but in multiple ways. The child will read the letter and its word in bold type. Then they will read a short verse, which rhymes and includes the word’s purpose. Each illustration shows the child where the term is in relation to boating. Assuming the family owns a boat, the child can connect then term with the real thing.

I like the book’s multiple avenues for learning both the alphabet and boating terms.  Younger children can use this as an ABC book, especially if interested in boats. All About Boats: A to Z is written for the older child who wants or needs to learn the terms of boating. Each verse helps the child remember the purpose of each word. The important word is in bold type and always in the verse. The illustrations do a wonderful job of capturing the word, while still keeping the book’s feel light and airy, somewhat like boating itself.

I think kids will love to learn about boats by using this book. It is friendly, fun, and familiarizes the child to boats and their functions quickly. A young child, under the age of five or six may not understand all of the terms, even after having the verses read to them and looking at the illustrations. Still, I would not hesitate in giving this ABC book to a youngun (as my fellow book reviewer Erik, called young children in a recent review).

This is a book that can help a child prepare for a boating trip and then reinforce the boating term, part, and function while on the trip. Some adults, not accustom to boating on a regular basis, will learn much from this cute book. T is for transom,which is the area on the back of the boat, where a boat’s given name is painted. I did not know that.

I like this book. Kids will enjoy the illustrations and learning about boats. I think girls will enjoy this as much as boys. Anyone with children, or grandchildren, who regularly go boating, especially if they own the boat, will find this book valuable. Kids who love boats, be it the large ones sailing the ocean or the small ones sailing the carpet, will want this book, learn from it, and be thrilled to own it. All About Boats: A to Z is a great book for many reasons—all of them kid friendly.


*One possible game that can be played to reinforce remembering a term, is to find that term on other pages of the book.  For example, the term transom, which I did not know until reading this book.  There are seven transoms with a name in this book. One boat has its name on its side, so I would think it does not count.

Those seven boats with names, when found by the child, will help reinforce what a transom is for. The last spread is a beautiful scene of all shapes and sizes of boats, yet not one has a name on its transom.  This is a missed opportunity for reinforcement of letter T’ and the word transom.

All About Boats: A to Z

Author: David & Zora Aiken
Illustrator: David Aiken
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing   website
Release Date: July 28, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7643-4184-7
Number of Pages: 32
Ages: 5 to 8

3 thoughts on “#179 – All About Boats: A to Z by David & Zora Aiken

  1. Youngun – I like that! Living on the coast, I can see how this might be a fun book for my kids. The only boating we’ve done here is going on the ferries, but still, these nautical terms would still apply. Sue, I’ve sent you an email about the Hop – we’d love for you to join in if you like. Take a look and let me know, ok? Cheers! 🙂


    • Usually I agree with most everything you say. I don’t think an ABC book would be good for bedtime, but then maybe since this is so much more than simply ABC’s it could be good for bedtime reading. Especially if read while sleeping in a boat. 😉


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