Books, for Children and Young at Heart

(Click the pic for more info and reviews)
The Wreck of the Zephyr
Chris van Allsburg
From author of The Polar Express and Jumanji, this is the story of a boat wrecked on a hill, high above the sea. How did it get there? An old man tells the story of a young boy who was such a great sailor, he could sail off the water and on to the wind itself . . . The illustrations are full of light and energy and life and will engage not only children but adults who read this book to (or with, or before and after) their children. Excellent!

(Click the pic for more info and reviews)
We Didn’t Mean to Go To Sea
Arthur Ransome
I was given this book by a friend from Czechoslovakia, and he had been given the book by a friend from Wales; both had loved the book as boys. I immediately understood why. Three children find themselves alone on a little boat being swept out to sea with the tide and being caught in a storm. By using what they know of sailing, they manage to cross the English Channel! A great, encouraging book for children, an example of using whatever you know to take care of yourself, and a story very well told.

Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
This is the first of the Swallows and Amazons series, first published in the 1930’s and still going strong! Swallows is the name of a little boat, and two youngsters Nancy and Peggy are the Amazons . . . and they manage to find or make many big adventures in their “backyard.”
If you enjoy this one, you can follow their many further adventures (Swallowdale, The Big Six, Missy Lee: The Swallow and Amazons in the China Sea, The Picts and the Martyrs, Secret Water, Winter Holiday, Coot Club, Peter Duck, Pigeon Post, and more.)

(Click the pic for more info and reviews)
First Sail: An Adventure Story Designed to Help New Sailors Learn the Ropes
Richard Henderson
This basic-instruction-disguised-as-a-story will help young sailors learn, or at least become familiar with, what sailors do on sailboats. It’s funny how we sometimes forget, when trying to teach children, to follow the example of instructors we’ve had in our own lives, from school to military boot camp to on-the-job training and to “tell you what I’m going to teach you, then I’m going to teach you.” Includes illustrations with labels.