Ferry Boat by Michael Garland

Ferry Boat (I Like to Read)

Michael Garland, Author and Illustrator

Holiday House, Fiction, Jan. 5, 2021

Suitable for ages: 4-8

Themes: Ferry Boat, Passengers, Manhattan, NYC

Opening: “We go on the ferry.”

Publisher’s Synopsis:

A blow-by-blow account of one of the most famous ferry rides in the world, this Level F book is perfect for kindergarteners and first graders to read on their own.

Breathtaking scenes illustrate and illuminate a text that is just right for new readers:

We go on the ferry.
Let’s go to the window.
We see a fort.
We see a long, long bridge.

Realistic digital etchings of the Manhattan skyline, the escalator to a gangplank, New York City crowds, and landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and more give new readers an experience that builds skills, boosts confidence, and shows how reading is fun!

This book has been officially leveled by using the Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient(TM) Leveling System.
The award-winning I Like to Read series features guided reading levels A through G, based upon Fountas & Pinnell standards. Acclaimed author-illustrators—including winners of Caldecott, Theodor Seuss Geisel, and Coretta Scott King honors—create original, high-quality illustrations that support comprehension of simple text and are fun for kids to read again and again with their parents, teachers or on their own!

Level F books, for early first graders, feature longer, more varied sentences than Level E. Level F books encourage kids to decode new multi-syllable words in addition to recognizing sight words. Stories are more complex, and illustrations provide support and additional detail. When Level F is mastered, follow up with Level G.

Why I like this book:

Michael Garland’s Ferry Boat is perfect for early readers. It is told from the viewpoint of a child taking a first ferry boat ride from Manhattan to the Staten and back. Through the child’s eyes readers will view the hustle and bustle of passengers boarding the ferry, peering out of large windows, viewing the skyline of Manhattan, passing Ellis Island, Castle Williams, the Verrazzano Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. 

Young readers will be enticed to explore Garland’s stunning signature illustrations. Just look at that gorgeous cover of the Ferry Boat! Each unique spread exhibits a wood grain effect that adds texture to the colorful Staten Island ferry boat, the sites and the happy activities on  passengers, who reflect the diversity of New York City. The artwork is simply beautiful!

Make sure you check out a picture of a grinning five-year-old Michael Garland’s first ferry boat ride at the end of the story. His book is a labor of love and a keepsake for many.  I remember my first ride as a teen..   

Resources: Autumn is the perfect time to take your child for a ride on the Staten Island Ferryboat, if you visit or live near New York City. We don’t have ferry boats in Ohio, but we have historic steam boats (paddle boats) cruises along the Ohio River. You may find ferry boats and riverboats in your area if you live in Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, Seattle, WA, South Carolina and Florida. Do some research.  Encourage kids to make their own boats. Check out this kid’s activities blog.

Michael Garland has written and illustrated many books for children, including Fish Had a Wish (Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Children’s Books), Tugboat (Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy), Pizza Mouse (Junior Library Guild Selection), and Birds Make Nests (Correll Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Informational Text and NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book). His art for James Patterson’s Santa Kid inspired Saks Fifth Avenue’s Christmas Holiday windows. He has also written many wonderful Christmas books.  Visit his website.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website. 

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

24 thoughts on “Ferry Boat by Michael Garland

  1. This book looks like a beauty! Mom and I love NYC and boats. I have never been on one, but Mom has and she says it’s fun seeing the sights that way. Great choice, P. Someday, I will go on a boat.

    Love and licks,


  2. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of riding the Staten Island Ferry, I often travel by ferry from my NJ home to midtown Manhattan. It’s fun to see tourists with young children who point out the sights, reminding jaded locals that there’s so much to see and do in our local community.


  3. That cover is gorgeous. Michael’s work is so distinctive. As someone who has ridden the Staten Island ferry many times, I know I will love this book and enjoy the local sights.


  4. The cover is gorgeous and depicts the ferry boat perfectly. I’ve only been on a ferry boat a few times and each was a memorable experience. Such an amazing watercraft and I’m glad new readers get to experience it through a young person’s eyes. I’ll be sharing this with several families who have 5 or 6 year olds in the house. Thanks for the heads up on this one.


  5. Ferry boats are fun. Maybe kids who don’t live near NYC can find a ferry boat closer to home. And the colors on the cover are so inviting.


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