Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat

Last updated Monday, February 4, 2019

Author: Philip Stead
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 1596435623
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2019

Synopsis: When Jonathan loses his best friend, a stuffed bear named Frederick, he sets sail on the Big Blue Boat to find him. Along the way he assembles a ragtag crew, including a mountain goat, a lonely circus elephant, and even a friendly whale. Adventure and intrigue (and pirates!) follow.

Note to readers:
•  This book will definitely be worth doing a picture walk through.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What animals do you see?
•  What is special about being on a boat?
•  Have you been on a boat? Did you like it?


•  Marooned – trapped on an island or other inaccessible place
•  “Anchors aweigh” – aweigh – raising the anchor clear of the sea or riverbed. Analogous to releasing the parking brake on a car.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What/who is Frederick? Who is Jonathan? (Answer, the stuffed bear, the boy)

Craft ideas:
•  Make goats, whales, elephants using rolled paper/cardboard rolls.
•  Fold a blue sheet of paper to make a boat.
•  Check our January craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!