Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat (Hardcover)

By Philip C. Stead, Philip C. Stead (Illustrator)

Roaring Brook Press, 9781596435629, 32pp.

Publication Date: June 7, 2011



When Jonathan loses his best friend, a stuffed bear named Frederick, he sets sail on the Big Blue Boat to find him. Along the way he assembles a ragtag crew, including a mountain goat, a lonely circus elephant, and even a friendly whale. Adventure and intrigue (and pirates ) follow.

This title has Common Core connections.

About the Author

Philip C. Stead is the author of the Caldecott Medal winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2010 and a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2010, illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead (A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, 2010). Philip, also an artist, both wrote and illustrated his debut Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast (Roaring Brook Press, 2009), which was applauded by School Library Journal for "its wry humor and illustrations worthy of a Roald Dahl creation." Philip lives with Erin in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Praise For Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat

“The text has a gentle, meandering flavor with a repeated cumulative refrain…. The illustrations are striking…” --BCCB


"Children will happily shift their focus from big to little, from large shapes to tiny numbers, from Jonathan’s story to the pieces that make up its pictures." –Starred, Kirkus Reviews

“Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee) uses squiggly ink lines and washes of warm color against a background of collaged newsprint, charts, and stamps that underscore the nautical theme and distance traveled . . . . a lovely, gentle adventure for younger readers.” –Starred, Publishers Weekly

“Stead combines playful compositions and his hero's serious intent in a winning combination. What at first seems almost whimsical, upon closer inspection reveals careful planning in each illustration.” –Shelf Awareness

“Stead skillfully employs color to reflect Jonathan’s mood: an initial bright sky when the boy and Frederick are together, growing darkness as he sets off alone, and a final scene in which an orange-bright “globe” sun beams its rays on the reunited travelers. A gentle tale heralding imagination’s triumph over disappointment.” –School Library Journal