Wednesday, September 09, 2009

September Pre-school/Primary Pick: Baby Boat

One spring when I was in college, my mother won a stay at a fancy (to us) New Orleans' hotel in a contest. She decided to take my sisters and I on a girls-only vacation to NOLA that spring break, with the thought that it might be the last time she and her three girls all got to go on a vacation together before I was off being a grown-up. It was a wonderful vacation,even though Jazz had chicken pox and we didn't realize she had it until we were already there. Her case wasn't very bad and she still had more fun than she would have had at home, although we probably exposed a lot of people, something I wasn't mature enough to feel guilty about at the time. Jazz also had her third birthday on that trip, her St. Paddy's Day birthday often falling during spring break.

Before we left, I went to the university book store to pick out a birthday present for Jazz and I found a truly enchanting picture book called Baby Boat by Betty Waterton. It was about an older lady named Sophia who lived with her husband in a lighthouse on the beach and missed her long-grown bambinos. Sophia put on her painting hat and set off to paint a starfish one day and got quite a surprise when a boat full of babies landed on her shore. Adorable and sweet hijinks ensued, all leading to a very happy ending. Jazz liked the book and I read it to her and my other siblings a good bit in those years.

At one point, when the Lone Star Girl was small, I found a later, paperback printing of the book with a different cover and title - Plain Noodles, but that was truly the exact same book . There is a reason in the story for "plain noodles" but I don't feel that title or the cover art on that printing is as apt as the original. Somehow (mystifies me), I didn't end up buying Plain Noodles for the Lone Star Girl when I found it and I forgot about Baby Boat for a lot of years.

Fast forward to our abbreviated Cousin Camp this past summer. The Lone Star Niece always brings books from home when she comes and it is my habit to read the cousins one of hers and one of ours each night. Imagine my surprise when she pulled out Baby Boat! She had the exact book that I had purchased for Jasmine's third birthday, passed down. I really enjoyed reading it again and the Lone Star Baby proclaimed it one of her Three Favorite Books. I ordered one for us to have at home right away and we are still enjoying it.

I highly recommend this sweet book to all families with young children.

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