Who Sank the Boat? is one of his newest books. I have only read it to him twice now. If you are unfamiliar with it, it goes a little something like this:
Do you know who sank the boat?All up there are 5 animals: a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig and a tiny little mouse. Each animal takes its turn getting in to the boat and, true to its mystery/thriller heritage, you don't find out who sank the boat until the very end (and the butler didn't do it, although if there was a penguin involved that would have been my guess, too).
[turn the page]
Was it the cow
who almost fell in,
when she tilted the boat
and made such a din?
[turn the page]
No, it wasn't the cow
who almost fell in.
Do you know who sank the boat?
I wasn't paying much attention to the boy when the first animal (the cow) got in the boat (the story is that engrossing...) although I was aware that he made a noise when I first asked "Do you know who sank the boat?" I also caught some movement out of the corner of my eye when I started asking "Was it the cow...".
It was clear as a bell when I next asked:
"Was it the donkey
who balanced her weight?
'I'll get in the bow before it's too late.'"
Was that what I thought it was? I turned the page, watching him closely.
"No, it wasn't the donkey
who balanced her weight.
Do you know who sank the boat?"
Elijah's head shook vigorously from side to side. It became obvious that while he did know that both the cow and the donkey were not responsible for the impending naval disaster at Mr Peffer's place, he did not know who sank the boat.
I paused. For too long. Way too long. Elijah looked up at me, grabbed the page and complained, questioning why had I stopped reading now of all the times when he needed to know what happened next.
The same pattern repeated itself with the pig (who was fat as butter) and the sheep (who knew where to sit to level the boat so that she could knit). Amazing.
I won't spoil the ending but I will say that while it came as something of a surprise to the boy, he seemed to be satisfied that the mystery was solved.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that this is only the second time that I had read it to him and only the third time that he has had the book read to him at all.
Is 14 1/2 months too early for Mensa?