Tug: A Log Boom's Journey

by Scot Ritchie (Author)

Tug: A Log Boom's Journey
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

From award-winning author and illustrator Scot Ritchie comes this lively look at the journey of a West Coast tugboat towing a log boom, as seen through the eyes of a young boy.

"I'm helping Dad on the tugboat. We're going to tow a log boom to the sawmill on the river... I look out for ferries and other boats in the harbor... Then I see it -- a deadhead!"

Follow a child and his father through their workday on a tugboat on the West Coast as they watch a log boom being made, then tow it to a mill upriver. The pair must steer clear of other ships, race against the tide and weather a storm along the way. Told from a child's perspective, this fun, accessible picture book explores the key role of a tugboat in the logging process. As explained in the author's note, the story is inspired by Scot Ritchie's childhood memories of seeing tugs and log booms off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia, with additional information provided in the note about forestry on the West Coast today.

Key Text Features

- author's note

- diagrams

- glossary

- illustrations

- facts

- map

- speech bubbles

- writing inspiration

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Publishers Weekly

On Canada's west coast, a redheaded, pink-skinned child--the book's narrator--joins Dad and a friendly terrier for a trip hauling logs to a sawmill using a boom boat. Ritchie writes in a cadence that appreciates every detail: "The boom boat pushes the logs in place. Then the deckhand uses his pike pole to pull them together. He's making a log boom." A brief storm, a lost cedar, and an encounter with a "deadhead" that represents a possible collision provide moments of drama as the craft pulls the massive raft of lumber, but Dad knows his stuff, and eventually, it's land ho--as the narrator notes, "the smell of the sea is gone. Now I smell the sawmill." Digitally enhanced pencil and ink cartooning skillfully balances human moments with specific tasks and sweeping landscapes (including a wonderful bird's-eye view spread), inviting readers to savor people, process, and place. Back matter provides additional factual detail. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
March 20, 2022

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