life lessons about tipping points and the need for balance

by Pamela Allen - Putnam Publishing
ages baby to 8 years / picture bookslanguage, s.t.e.m.

It’s like ...who sank the boat!

That’s how my family often describes an overwhelming day, too much of something, or a time when we've gone one step too far.

In this story, there’s ‘a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig and a tiny little mouse’ who decide to go for a row on the bay. 

One by one, they gingerly climb in the rowboat and restore the equilibrium before the next passenger. Finally it’s the tiny little mouse’s turn and so in it jumps. You can guess what happens next I’m sure!

The last picture of animal friends, bedraggled and wet, being followed away from the lake by an exuberant little mouse is fabulous—and sums up the attitude of the whole story.

This is a great story for beginning readers, with the phrase ‘Do you know who sank the boat?’ repeated over and over again. It’s also great for learning about rhythm and cadence. And it rhymes, making it fun to read and to recite.

There are life lessons: 

Everyone makes an important contribution.
Even a small contribution can make all the difference.
It’s not always the big and grand that prove to be the tipping point.
It’s important to balance your own boat each time you take on extra weight. 

… you get the idea!

It’s books like these that make Pamela Allen such a perennial favourite. (And give rise to family in-jokes 'like ...who sank the boat!')

Book Depository

This post was first published on WTBA in February 2015