Have you already found and loved The Old Truck? Been wishing for more delightful picture book fun from the Pumphrey brothers? Then you are in for a treat. Their new book, The Old Boat, will be released on March 2 - so you only have a month to wait!
Just like the wonderful story of the truck, this book is also based on family history and childhood experiences. "Our grandmother took us and our brothers fishing and crabbing when we were younger. Our grandfather gave us his old bay boat when we got older," say Jarrett and Jerome. They credit their grandparents with resilience and teaching their parents to create better lives for themselves and their children. That resilience comes through in this deceptively simple story.
Rather than a child and her parents (as in The Old Truck), this time we see a boy and his grandmother enjoying their time fishing on the boat. As the boy grows and ventures farther from shore, readers also will see the pollution in the water increase. Finally, the boat wrecks and the young man is washed on shore. The cleanup of the local waters and the building of his own family bring the story circling back to a grandparent/grandchild relationship like the one that started the book.
Just as the old truck finds new life as the young farmer restores it to once again work on the farm, the old boat finds a new purpose as a marine habitat after its sinking. Both books are powerful portrayals of close families and have the added bonus of showing Black characters in settings other than urban streets.
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