Daniel Miyares
ISBN 9781481415248
S&S, 2015.
4 ½ stars
Keywords: daniel-miyares float imagination nature play wordless-books

by Daniel Miyares

This wordless picture book celebrates unsupervised play, as a boy steps outside to float his boat in a rainstorm.

Like the child, readers first spy a newspaper--and its potential. The boy begins folding, then emerges from the house decked out in a yellow slicker, matching cap and rain boots, and holding a paper boat. Daniel Miyares (Pardon Me) wordlessly references the title when the boy holds the boat aloft; it seems to float atop the points of a picket fence. When the sky darkens and the rain starts, the boy at first tries to keep his boat dry. A full-bleed double-page spread shows the futility in this attempt, as the thickly painted raindrops nearly block out the yellow of his slicker. As the storm abates, the boat sets sail on a newly formed pond; readers see the reflection of neighborhood rooftops on its surface. A sequence of the boy puddle-jumping conveys the water's depth and current. Miyares creates a climax when the boat goes through a grate, leaving a trail of bubbles as it sinks into a black, seemingly fathomless void. The boy's feeling of defeat comes across in his bent body language and the crestfallen look he gives to his parent. After a blow-dry, a cup of hot chocolate and another page from the newspaper, the boy has a new vehicle to try out. (Hint: It, too, floats.)

Step-by-step directions on the endpapers show readers how to make the newspaper toys and invite them to play along with the young hero.

This review first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers.
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