About the Holiday
In 1933 The United States Congress established National Maritime Day to honor the important contributions of the maritime industry. The date of May 22 was chosen to commemorate the 1819 voyage of the steamship Savannah from the United States to England, which marked the first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by steam power. Special ceremonies and celebrations are held throughout the country to recognize the day and the people involved in our maritime industry. To learn more about the history and continuing service of America’s maritime industry, visit the Maritime Administration website.
Boats Will Float
Written by Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum | Illustrated by Brett Curzon
As the sun rises, “boats are bobbing in the bay, / waiting to be on their way. / Longing for the reaching tide. / Needing to explore and glide.” The day is clear and the sun shines brightly on fishing boats, where fishermen pull up their nets and drop their lines, and dragon boats, where rowers steer the boat to the rhythm of the drum. Captains hail each other as their boats pass on the way out to the open ocean. Seagulls swoop and call out too.
At a family picnic, the “speedboat launches human kite.” Wait! Is that Grandma taking flight? The ocean’s busy on this day with tugboats, a tanker, and an old-fashioned schooner. A fireboat’s needed to put some smoldering out. The coast guard is keeping the water safe while cruise ship passengers spy “passing pods of spouting whales.”
A research vessel way out to sea launches scientists and divers to learn more about what lies beneath. While “far below, a submarine, / working hard to stay unseen, / travels at a steady pace, housing sailors, short on space.” A trawler rounds a rocky shore where a lighthouse warns of dangers below. Nighttime brings a starlit sail and a houseboat rocks its family to sleep. “Safely moored in dreams all night– / Boats will float…toward morning’s light.”
An illustrated glossary telling more about each of the sixteen boats in the story follows the text.
A day on the water has never felt so inviting as in Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum’s engaging tale of boats big and small sailing the ocean for work and pleasure. Rosenbaum introduces young readers to a community of boats all enjoyed by industrious and enthusiastic skippers, sailors, paddlers, and even a dog or two. Her lyrical storytelling brings the sights, sounds, and flowing rhythms of the sea inside for rousing and educational story times while the cozy nightly routine of the family who lives in a houseboat makes for snuggly bedtime reading.
You can almost feel the salty breeze in Brett Curzon’s bright and charming illustrations that place the boats in tranquil waters and amid roiling waves. Whitecaps and frothy spray, leaping dolphins and whales, and circling seagulls looking for a treat create a vivid experience for readers. Curzon faithfully recreates each vessel with clear details that will enthrall kids. The fun of the dragon boats, drama of the fireboat, and porthole view from the submarine will enchant readers. The nighttime sail by a child and father is gorgeously lit by an explosion of stars, a vibrant moon, and the stalwart lighthouse and buoy that guides them.
A captivating introduction to boats, work, and life on the sea for vehicle lovers and any child, Boats Will Float, will be a favorite for story times and as a take along on ocean, lake, river, and other outings.
Ages 5 – 7
Sleeping Bear Press, 2020 | ISBN 978-1534110410
Discover more about Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum and her books on her website.
National Maritime Day Activity
Tugboat Bathtub Toy Craft
Tugboats are always there when a ship needs help or guidance—just like a parent or caregiver. With a few recycled materials, adults and children can have fun making this Tugboat Bathtub Toy that you’ll love to play with in the tub or pool.
- Printable Windows and Life Ring Template
- Printable Deck Template
- Container from a grocery store rotisserie chicken
- One 16-ounce cream cheese container with lid (or other such container)
- Paper towel tube
- Cardboard (can use a cereal box)
- Foam sheet in whatever color you would like the deck to be. (optional, see To Make the Deck options)
- Two colors of paint in whatever colors you would like your cabin and deck (if painting it) to be
- Paint brush
- Glue gun
To Make the Deck
- Trace the deck template on the cardboard, cut out and trim if necessary.
- Trace the deck template on the foam sheet, cut out and trim if necessary. The foam sheet gives waterproofing to the cardboard deck.
To Make the Boat
- Wash and dry rotisserie chicken container. The curved part of the container will be the front of the boat.
- Set the cardboard into the rim of the rotisserie chicken container. If needed glue with hot glue gun.
- Set the foam sheet on top of the cardboard
To Make the Cabin
- Print and cut out the windows, life ring, and deck template
- Wash and dry cream cheese container
- Paint the cream cheese container in the color chosen, let dry
- Put the lid on the cream cheese container to make the roof of the cabin
- Glue or tape the windows to one curved side of the cream cheese container
- Glue or tape the life ring to the opposite side of the cream cheese container
- With the glue gun attach the bottom of the cream cheese container to the deck, a little forward of half-way
To Make the Steam Pipe
- Cut a 5-inch section from the paper towel tube
- Paint alternating stripes of the deck color and the cabin color, let dry
- With the glue gun, attach the steam pipe to the deck close behind, but not touching, the cabin
Enjoy floating your tugboat in the bathtub or pool!
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