156 pages, words like nibble and starfish,
and, as you can see, beautiful illustrations and design.
This is the first book that made me cry. It isn't a sad book. It is a book about wish fulfillment--apples! ponies!--and adventure. I cried because this was the book that swept me up and transported me to an entirely different world. So I gobbled it up all in one night's reading.
I gobbled it up because I knew there were more where that came from. I'd got it from the school library. But when I got up in the morning it wasn't a school day--it was the first day of Thanksgiving vacation. I didn't get to go back to the library for days and days.
That aching desire for the magic boat has never left me. And the magic boat has never failed to grant my wishes and deliver me into strange new worlds. It's a loyal friend*, the magic boat.
Did you have a magic boat? Which book opened up the world of reading for you?
(*I returned the copy I borrowed from the library. That's what you do with library books; you return them. When my daughter was in first grade she had a very elderly teacher, Mrs. Beasley, who was retiring. Mrs. Beasley gave one book to each student in her last class as a goodbye gift. The book she gave my daughter was The Magic Boat by Lula E. Wright. It's a loyal friend, the magic boat.)