Book Review – The Wreck of the Zephyr

TITLE: The Wreck of the Zephyr
AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR: Chris Van Allsburg
FORMAT: Hardcover
PUBLISHED: 1983

In The Wreck of the Zephyr, a boy finds a boat on the hillside and an old man sitting near the boat. He asks the old man about it and then the next 95% of the story is the man telling the story of how it came to be there.
It’s got the same type of ending issues I had with Abdul Gasazi, so again, I’m going to recommend this for older kids (5+).

I liked the story enough, but it was told as a bunch of quoted paragraphs from the old man on the bench. I wish it would have been one of those things where they do a prologue of “how did this boat get here” and then just told the story. I think it lost a lot of the impact it could have had this way.
The illustrations were gorgeous, again done by Allsburg himself, and this time in full color. I could certainly see the appeal of the artwork, although the colors used had the same passive feel as the story.

I intentionally waited a couple weeks to write this review, and really, I can tell you the overall gist of the story, but the details didn’t really stand out. So I’m going to only give this a 3/5. It’s a high 3, but only a 3. Worth reading if you’re reading all of them, but he’s got others that are better.

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