My Father's Arms Are A Boat

My Father's Arms Are A Boat

Book - 2012
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It's quieter than it's ever been. Unable to sleep, a young boy climbs into his father's arms. Feeling the warmth and closeness of his father, he begins to ask questions about the birds, the foxes, and whether his mom will ever wake up. They go outside under the starry sky. Loss and love are as present as the white spruces, while the father's clear answers and assurances calm his worried son. Here we feel the cycles of life and life's continuity, even in the face of absence and loss, so strongly and clearly that we know at the end that everything will, somehow, be all right.
Publisher: New York : Enchanted Lion Books, 2012
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9781592701247
Branch Call Number: jE Parenting LUNDE 2012
Characteristics: 28 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm


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AndLib1 Aug 18, 2017

The topic of this book is Grief. The lyrical slightly melancholy Scandinavian style text tells the story of a father and son dealing with the aftermath of the death of the mother/wife. In a nutshell the story tells how the warmth, love and care of his father will keep the boy safe and that everything will be okay, as they grieve together.

This was a difficult book for me to place as it is definitely a picture book, the paper cut illustrations are poignant and perfect. Yet the content and theme are a bit heavy for toddlers or even preschoolers. I have decided to place it in the 5-8 year old range and call it an illustrated children's book (since many children believe "Picture Books" are for babies).

I would recommend this book to help children going through a loss realize that they are safe, loved and will be okay. In addition, it can help children learn about complex feelings and empathy for other’s loss. (also reviewed on

Jul 04, 2013

Interesting illustrations with only hints of color (red fox) until the final 2 pages. Suggestive text alludes to a missing character (mother) and hope that father and child will make it okay.

forbesrachel Apr 09, 2013

This is not so much a story, as it is an experience, and a look at a young boys emotions. The flow is difficult to follow at first, but when you think about it, you start to get the anxiety, and the eventual comfort the boy feels. The 3D art effectively matches these feelings by visually representing the atmosphere.


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AndLib1 Aug 18, 2017

AndLib1 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 5 and 8


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