Review of Tug: A Log Boom’s Journey

Tug: A Log Boom’s Journey Tug: A Log Boom’s Journey
by Scot Ritchie; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Groundwood    40 pp.    g
3/22    978-1-77306-177-1    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-77306-430-7    $16.99

A child and father spend the day together on a tugboat, guiding a log boom to a Vancouver sawmill. After the boom (“a collection of floating logs”) is assembled, the father and child set out, pulling the massive boom behind them. They steer wide around a tanker; encounter a swell that lifts the boom, causing the loss of a log; spot a deadhead (a partly submerged log); and hurry to reach the river before the tide turns, pulling “anything that isn’t anchored or tied up…out to sea.” The first-person narration is simple and specific, introducing young readers and listeners to terms of the trade (a helpful glossary is appended). The eye-catching large-format ink and pencil illustrations, colored in Photoshop, use a blue, green, and brown palette. It’s an outing full of fun, but the child is truly helpful, too, and is duly appreciated by Dad: “Thanks, buddy!” The story ends with the narrator declaring, “Maybe I’ll drive the tug one day.” Front endpapers feature a large map of the rivers and inlets around Vancouver; back endpapers provide a diagram of the different elements of the boom. An appended “Dear Reader” letter from the author provides additional information and raises questions about climate change and sustainability.

From the May/June 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Dean Schneider
Dean Schneider teaches seventh and eighth grades at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee.

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