A humorous exploration of a northern river ecosystem with an intrepid young boatsman is paired with an extended author’s note about its ecology and key species.
Young Ben sets out to explore the river equipped with a sturdy boat, some sample-collection gear, and his scientific curiosity. Along the way he meets a black bear taking a swim, a moose all wobbly and slim, a goose with a gorgeous grin, and a heron all proper and prim…but things really start happening after the owl HOOs loudly on a whim.
With fresh, easygoing verse from author Jen Lynn Bailey and art full of movement and light from illustrator Maggie Zeng, This is the Boat That Ben Built is a compelling entry point for conversations about ecology, food webs, and species diversity. Ben’s excursion—watched from the shore by his mother and faithful dog—is an outdoor adventure pitched perfectly for kids who dream of independence and exploration, parents who value safety and loving supervision, and educators who seek engaging fiction enriched with information. The book concludes with an eight-page Author’s Note that spotlights facts about every animal Ben has met and invites readers to think like an ecologist about the ways in which they are all connected.