8in x 8in
Juvenile Fiction: Social Themes
3 to 7
We're All In The Same Boat!
By Barney Saltzberg
The creative author of Beautiful Oops! is back again, this time with a playful look at how we can work together for the common good. The animals in this little boat learn they'll sink or swim together — or float if they use teamwork!
“Sit down; you’re rocking the boat.
When a dog, a cat, a pig, and a goat get into a rowboat together and each picks up an oar, they are faced with several scenarios that could spell disaster. If they can’t agree on a direction, they can’t move at all. A splashing episode would get them uncomfortably wet. Rocking the boat would make them sick. But sometimes they can choose to operate as a team, fixing a leak, sharing an umbrella, riding the waves, and rescuing a colleague who falls in the water. When faced with danger of any kind, they vow never to give up, because they are “all in the same boat” and must work together. Each scenario is introduced by a query in clear, direct language that is posed to the animals in simple, large-print typeface set within a double-page spread: “What happens when we don't agree on which direction to go?” The animals’ response appears in a white speech balloon in block capital letters in a subsequent double-page spread that illustrates the possible outcome: “WE GO NOWHERE FAST!” The cartoon animals are full of personality, displaying all their emotions up front, with a goofiness that will get lots of laughs from young readers. It is a cautionary tale that could have turned preachy, but Saltzberg’s light touch gets an important message across with great, good humor.
Lots of fun and a well-taught life lesson. (Picture book. 3-9)”
— Kirkus Reviews
"Saltzberg offers a comedic take on a fable-like situation: a goat, a pig, a cat, and a dog set off in a rowboat together. What follows is a series of questions in the first-person plural that present differing scenarios, with an answer provided, a page turn later, in an eye-catching collective speech bubble. “What happens when someone rocks the boat?” one spread asks, showing the grinning goat standing on the stern and waving its oar in the air. A page turn later—“WE ALL GET SEASICK!”—each of the animals (goat included) are shown leaning over the craft’s side with green-tinged cheeks. Soon, however, the group learns to work together, allowing them to survive through a boat leak, a rainstorm, and more. Sequential ink-lined art against simple washes features expressive animals, lending a lighthearted feel to this teamwork-affirming picture book. Ages 2–8. (Sept.)"
— Publishers Weekly