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*Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes* by Sara Gillingham
Also by Sara Gillingham:

On My Beach (Felt Finger Puppet Board Books)

In My Pond

A Is for Astronaut: Exploring Space from A to Z

T Is for Tugboat: Navigating the Seas from A to Z
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes
by Sara Gillingham
Ages 6-10 128 pages Yearling January 2016 Paperback    

This is more than an ABC book. Gillingham’s (In My series of board books) latest book is a nonfiction book that teaches children four ways people communication when on the water. This heavily researched book begins with a four-page introduction about how and why ships communicate using signal flags, the Phonetic alphabet, Morse code, and semaphore.

On the following pages, the letters of the alphabet begin. Each letter is given three pages. Between the two pages that describe the details of each type of communication for that letter, there is a paper copy of that letter’s flag. The author gives facts about the flags’ meaning and provides examples of when a ship would use that flag.

On the following page, there are other nautical codes for the letter. Each phonetic letter comes with a pronunciation guide. The dits and dahs for Morse code are shown using red dots and dashes. For semaphore, a sailor is shown using two flags. Her actions are described below the illustration (With your left arm pointing straight down, hold your right arm out at a downward angle). At the bottom of the page is an illustration and brief description of a type of ship (i.e. diving boats, sailboats, tugboats).

Back material consists of five pages of additional material. An extensive glossary and website addresses about boats, codes, decorating with flags, and nautical history are included. A handy at-a- glance section shows all the codes on two pages. Readers will appreciate the easy to read layout and the realistic artwork.

There is a lot of historical information in this book about nautical communication but it’s not overwhelming because the sections of text include artwork and small paragraphs or short sentences. Young boat lovers will welcome this practical reference book.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2016 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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