The Boat Book of Fun -By Sandra Travis-Bildahl, 97 pages, $9.95, Weems and Plath, Annapolis, Maryland
Keeping kids busy onboard usually isn’t too difficult (it’s amazing how much fun you can have with a bucket of water and a handful of Bay mud), but when the going gets tough, the tough turn to Mother’s Little Helper, The Boat Book of Fun, subtitled “An Activity Book for Nautical Kids, Volume I.” This is a neat little book and one I used this summer with Kaeo, my extremely busy four-year-old son. Some of it is a little too old for him; one of the questions on the trivia quiz page is, for example, “What is the largest member of the dolphin family?” (The answer, in case you’re like me and had to peek, is the orca whale). But other parts of the book are right up the four-year-old’s alley-such as the recipe for making waves in a bottle (you use some cooking oil, water and food dye). Point is, there’s enough variety in here to keep a bunch of kids busy, and that’s helpful for those of us who didn’t have the good sense to stop at one.