5 Boating Books for Kids


Looking for a good book to give to a budding boater this holiday season? The following 5 should do the trick!

The Witches: A Winnipesaukee Adventure

A few years ago, longtime Lake Winnipesaukee boater Andy Opel was struck by the dearth of children’s books about his beloved lake, so he set out to write one. “The Witches: A Winnipesaukee Adventure” ($17.95), was released in 2011 and won Best Children’s Book in that year’s New England Book Festival. It centers around 3 children who take the family skiff to a nearby island. The ensuing adventure, involving an infamous lake hazard familiar to many Winnie boaters, serves up some important lessons in boating safety.

Price: $17.95 (hard)
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Dory Story

Written by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by David Biedrzycki, “Dory Story” tells the story of a young boy who sets off in a wooden dory from an undisclosed Northeast beach to explore the ocean (against the wishes of his parents, of course). Naturally, he gets more than he bargained for. But the book is more than a tale of youthful independence and adventure; it also teaches young readers about the marine world and its unsentimental, sometimes violent web of life.

Price: $13.05 (hard)
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A Kid’s Book on Boatbuilding

This entertaining and educational book by Willets Ansell describes how wooden boats are built and introduces children to the basic vernacular of boatbuilding and design. Words like “spline”, “garboard”, “keel” and “knee” are explained through simple pen-and-ink illustrations using language kids can understand. Also detailed are the different tools used in wooden boatbuilding, as well as methods such as framing, steam-bending and lofting.

Price: $9.86 (paper)
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Fish House Door

The Fish House Door

While not a book on boats or boating per se, “The Fish House Door” is the story of a boy who comes to understand his family’s legacy on the sometimes harsh but beautiful Maine coast. The book centers on Shawn, who helps his dad aboard his commercial lobsterboat and paints the colorful buoys that mark the lobster traps. When a visiting art dealer makes an offer on the paint-smeared door of their simple work shed, it opens a window to Shawn’s family history and a fresh perspective on his community.

Price: $15.26 (hard)
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Line: Tying It Up, Tying It Down

Writer and illustrator Jan Adkins tackles the esoteric world of boating lines and knots with his customary wit and artistic talents. Both children and adults will find this book interesting, as Adkins delves into the history of common knots and their uses, which remain of value in today’s boating world. This is timeless information every mariner—regardless of his or her age—needs to know!

Price: $10.88 (hard)
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