Images via Barefoot Books
We’re Sailing to Galapagos is a gem of a book which I am thrilled to have the opportunity to review. Laurie Krebs, a first grade teacher-turned-author, teams with Italian trained artist Grazia Restelli in this book that celebrates the natural diversity of the islands in the Pacific off the mainland of South America.
About the Author: Laurie Krebs
Laurie Krebs has always been fascinated with words. As a little girl, she fiddled with rhyme and poetry. She wrote limericks, jingles and all sorts of doggerel. Interestingly enough, she never thought of herself as a writer.
Laurie began to teach first grade and fell in love with children’s literature. As she read her students, she watched their faces when she shared a favorite story. Laurie learned about the kind of books they enjoyed. After a time, she began to make books for her class and create stories with them. Sometimes the books connected with the curriculum; sometimes they were just for fun. Laurie loved doing this and only then did she begin to think of myself as an author.
Retired from teaching, Laurie is now lucky enough to do two things she really enjoys. She has time to write and keep in touch with children through author visits. For Laurie, it’s the best of both worlds.
Laurie’s inspiration for writing comes from real life experiences or things she finds interesting. Most of what she writes has a touch of nonfiction woven into it. Both Laurie and her husband love to travel, which resulted in several extremely popular children’s books including We All Went on Safari , We’re Riding on a Caravan, Off We Go to Mexico, We’re Sailing Down the Nile and Up and Down the Andes.
About “We’re Sailing to Galapagos”
For me, a book must encompass three main things in order to be a “keeper.” It must be visually appealing with pictures that allow the imagination to take over (not cartoonish characters with over exaggerated facial expressions). It must have a simple story line that appeals to my toddler’s frame of reference and level of comprehension. And it must be short and sweet. We’re Sailing To Galapagos met all of this criteria and is a book that we will enjoy for a long time.
Now, I love lists. I love this book. So I thought that I would do something different and provide you with a list of why I love We’re Sailing to Galapagos. More exciting that a bunch of paragraphs, yes? So, without further ado…
Why I Love We’re Sailing To Galapagos
- For each day of the week, the rhymed text introduces one of the islands’ unique animals. This helps children learn the days of the week in a lighthearted way. Fun + educational = a great book!
- Younger children (2-5 or so) will love seeing the pictures of the giant tortoises, the black iguanas, and the lava crabs.
- Older children (6+) can learn more about the animals and Charles Darwin’s famous exploration by perusing the informative entries following the rhyming section.
- I like the fact that the book is based on a real life experience and illustrates diversity both in geographic location as well as in the portrayal of the couple traveling.
- I love that the refrain can be sung to “Row Row Row Your Boat”.
- I don’t know many picture books that introduce young children to a location like the Galapagos and this book does it with flair.
- The illustrations are bright and engaging without being too “cartoonish.”
- The couple portrayed in this book hold hands a lot which I think is very sweet to see and a good model for children.
- This book kept the attention of my 2 ½ year old and she asks me to read it to her again and again.
- Last but not least, I personally enjoyed both the story and the artful illustrations and do not mind reading this over and over and over and over and over (if you have a toddler you totally get what I am saying here) again!
The only criticism I have of the book is that it can be a tad difficult (at first) to figure out what order to read the lines on the page. They are scattered about. It is best to do a read through or two to familiarize yourself with the book before reading it to your child.
Overall I would put this book onto your must have list. Children of all ages will be able to enjoy it and parents can feel good about the content. I cannot wait to add more Laurie Krebs books to our library!
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