I am honestly slightly at a loss for words. All in the Same Boat by Wilkie J. Martin, illustrated by Tanja Russita, was not the story that I was expecting at all. So much so to the point that I kind of looked at it when I put it down and my first thought was to wonder if I was wrong when I’d thought it was a children’s book. But it was and apparently I just forgot to recognize what “cautionary new fable for ages 6-8” probably meant. I think I just imagined for some reason that it wouldn’t be so dark.
But All in the Same Boat actually is pretty dark. Much darker than I expected for a kids book. And while I admit this, I also have to admit that I loved it. The story was so unexpectedly fun–though I did get a bit sad halfway through and if you read it I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out why–that I honestly would love to have this book on my shelf. I question whether I would read it to a six-year-old just a bit though. Perhaps my future child might enjoy it, but as an educator I don’t think I could read this book to a student. I’d feel a bit awkward about it.
But overall I just really enjoyed the story. In my opinion, despite the dark nature of it, this is a fantastic tale. And it’s definitely reminiscent of some of the fables that I’d read as a kid. I think back to tales like the one about the fox and the scorpion and it matches for me. Plus the artwork was actually surprisingly wonderful. I didn’t know if I’d love it going in, but I left the short story really appreciating it.
So, ultimately, I definitely loved this book. I was certainly surprised, having not expected the events to unfold as they did. But at the end of the day, this was one of the more fun and interesting children’s books I’ve read in a while.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.