The book is a cross between a picture book and a comic book. It has large illustrations that fill the entire page and the story is moved along through word bubbles. Readers follow Gubby, his cat Puss, and Gubby’s nephew Cam on their journey to repair the fishing troller Flounder that’s been taking on water.
One of my favourite parts was to keep an eye out for Gubby’s cat Puss. The cat was in each illustration and was having his own set of adventures alongside Gubby and Cam.
The book could also be used as an education tool for children because it has explanations of boating terms throughout the story. Even adults can learn fishing terminology from the book. I learned quite a few.
It also touches on the cultural diversity of B.C.’s coast when Gubby meets with his friend Minoru, a Japanese boat builder, to help build a new troller.
To my delight Gubby Builds a Boat came with a boat building kit. It brings out the child in the adult and will give children a little extra fun constructing their own fishing troller when reading the book.
The story is recommended for children five and older.
Gubby Builds a Boat is the sequel to La Fave’s and Kent’s book Fishing with Gubby, which was nominated for four literary awards including the Governor General’s Literary award for children’s literature, the Joe Shuster Award in the comics for kids category, the Canadian Library Association’s Amelia Frances Howard Award and the Bill Duthie Bookseller’s Choice for the best book published in British Columbia.
Kent was a commercial fisherman for 10 years and now teaches at the Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking.
La Fave has won numerous awards for his illustrations and has worked with several authors over the years including Janet Lunn, Kenneth Oppel and others.
Published by: Harbour Publishing
Available at: www.harbourpublishing.com and most major bookstores
List price: $19.95.