Monday 30 October 2017

The Real Boat by Marina Aromshtam and Victoria Semykina (Templar Publishing)

This is one of those 'Wow' books so strap yourself in for an amazing journey aboard a tiny paper boat...
"The Real Boat" by Marina Aromshtam and Victoria Semykina instantly drew us in for so many reasons.

First there's that amazing cover, illustrated by Victoria, that has so many amazing tiny little details on it that you want to know more.

Then there's the page count. Again this is (hopefully) the start of seeing a massive shift in the way the picture book format is changing (in our opinion, for the better) with titles that feel longer and more satisfying reads than the standard 'done in 5 minutes flat' titles we see so many of.

The story of "The Real Boat" is actually the story of a tiny paper boat, who realises that there's far more to life than being floated down a street before a nasty clown grabs you and...oh wait, that's another book entirely (sorry, getting carried away with it being Halloween tomorrow).

It's actually a neat little twist on a story mechanic we've seen many times in various different forms. Like a cross between "Pinocchio" and "The Gingerbread Man" it's a tale of the aforementioned boat wanting to prove himself, to become a real boat by heading out into the stormy sea, away from the comfort and safety of 'home'.

The journey begins in the relative safety of a pond (watch out for jumping frogs though!)

On his journey he meets all sorts of friends, from the strong little tug boat to the glittering ocean liner.

But he also learns that the real ocean is huge and deep and full of dangers.

The lyrical text and illustrations of this modern fable create a world of wonder in a story that's so beautifully nuanced and a really satisfyingly long read. 

The ocean, vast, busy and quite scary if you're a tiny tiny little paper boat. 
An utterly beautiful book, and one that we really hope ushers in a change in the way picture books are produced and written. Long live longer books!

Charlotte's best bit: When the tiny boat finally reaches the ocean. 

Daddy's favourite bit: A gloriously satisfying and detailed book, just the sort of amazing story we'd love to see more of. 

(Kindly supplied for review)

"The Real Boat" by Marina Aromshtam and Victoria Semykina is out now, published by Templar Publishing.