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Who Sank the Boat? (Paperstar) Paperback – April 16, 1996

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pamela Allen is a phenomenon in the world of children’s books. In twenty-four years she has produced thirty-three picture books, many of which have won prestigious awards and commendations both in Australia and overseas. She is the first illustrator to have won the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award two years running, for Who Sank the Boat? (1983) and Bertie and the Bear (1984). Some of Pamela’s other awards include the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the AIM Book Award (New Zealand) and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honour Diploma for Illustration. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: 470L (What's this?)
  • Series: Paperstar
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reissue edition (April 16, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069811373X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698113732
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "hurburgh" on February 27, 2001
Format: School & Library Binding
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This book has the simplest of plots but it is very charmingly told.
Imagine a pig carrying an umbrella, a sheep doing knitting, and a cow and a donkey and a mouse, all walking along on their back legs in single file.
What else is there to do on a fine sunny morning but to go for a row in the boat?
But there is one big question. "Who sank the boat?"
We are told the outcome right up front, but who was the culprit? The tension and suspense is fantastic as each creature in turn gets aboard. The donkey is a smart critter since he knew how to balance the weight of the cow. The sheep was just as smart since he got on the opposite side to the pig. We are now very low in the water now, but still afloat.
The smallest and the lightest of the friends now gets on board. Glug, glug, glug - Time to swim. "You DO know who sank the boat" - don't you?
This is a classic children's story, beautifully illustrated.
For the thoughtful child it is a good introduction to some interesting physical phenomena. The straw that broke the camel's back is an overworked (and unpleasant) metaphor. Our mouse friend is a good analogy to that one snowflake that triggered the avalanche.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By saliero on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
Lovely illustrations, and a good text, which has some good rhymes. A reading aloud book, definitely, as some of the words are hard for beginning readers, while the story-line is suitable for younger readers. As for science, it is worthwhile building up the picture that everyone sitting in the boat contributes to its sinking. Eventually, the cry goes up that "Everyone did!" in reponse to the question "Who sank the boat?"
Pamela Allen also wrote "Mr Archimedes Bath" which is a terrific exploration of water displacement.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This one has been around for at least twenty years or more. I was glad to see that it is still in print. This is a simple story of a cow, donkey, sheep, pig and mouse who live by the sea. One day the decide to take a boat ride. The boat is rather small and it does not take much to imagine what will eventually happen. The fun part, with the children, is asking "who sunk the boat?" As each animal gets into the boat, things get worse and worse. This is a good one to talk to the children about and with. The story is simple, the illustrations quite good. Recommend this one highly.

D. Blankenship
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is great for getting kids to think about what makes things float or sink, as well as how things balance. The surprise ending is a lot of fun, although getting kids to understand why it happens usually involves going back through the whole series of pictures. This could be a good early science book or just a good read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on February 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my nieces. They've asked me to read it about twice a week since then - and we have so many books, that's quite significant!

What I loved about it, more than the fact that the kid can really see how *everybody* sank the boat (very clearly illustrated), is the fact that it clearly presents a common narrative form - the most unlikely person is the one who sinks the boat.

The first time I read it, I paused to ask the older niece if she knew who sank the boat (the question is repeated several times throughout the book), and she answered it correctly, without even thinking - of *course* it's the teeny tiny mouse who sank the boat! Who else would it be?

To me, that's more important at the age of four than understanding about buoyancy, or understanding the idea of the last straw.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. McCulloch on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
My three-year-old loves this book, as did her brother before her (actually, I think he still rather likes it at 8). A bunch of friends go for an outing in a boat, or at least they planned to, but... first the cow (or is it the donkey?) hops in, then the next friend, and the next... but who sank the boat? None of them, but the mouse, right at the end, who is the last straw.

Typical Pamela Allen rhymes make it fun to read for the parent too.
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By M. Heiss on October 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a book for very small children that is not only a corny and well-illustrated story, but also demonstrates how weights balance each other in a floating boat.

Just like in Jan Brett's "The Mitten," it is the mouse that finally causes all the trouble.

This book is completely worth it, just to see the cow's body as shee leans back on the boat and then loses her balance. Udderly riotous laughter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for many reasons--It is useful for teaching simple prediction, it is repetitive for interactive read aloud purposes, it rhymes and has a couple new vocabulary words you can teach, but my favorite use is drama--children can take on the rolls of the character in the story or recreate the story using blocks and farm animals! This was perfect for three year olds!
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