I suspect the black marker treatment was added long after I had finished the book.
This is the first book I remember making. I have a fairly clear memory of writing and drawing this on the front porch during the summer. Of course, memory being what it is, I probably made it in the middle of winter in my room. But I recall this being the first time I told a story across multiple pages with some goal in mind.
I gave myself credit as the illustrator on the back cover but obviously no author was involved.
I won’t post the other pages here (no one needs to see all 16 pages!). It is a tad redundant. But I will say the boat makes it through the adventure with only a bit of damage.
The Little Boat faces danger in the story – a shark!
I’ve spent several days thinking about the story. Some odd aspects that I can’t help but think represent some dilemmas I was facing at that moment in my life. For instance, The Little Boat seems overwhelmed at being pushed out to sea alone, his ‘master’ being left behind. He faces dangers and gets tipped over but rights himself. And at the end of the book it says “He was happy.”
When did I make this? Good question.
It was in a big box of ‘Mark’s stuff’ from my folks house. No way to date it, but judging by the writing and spelling, I’d guess 1st or 2nd grade. Remember kids back then (Oh my God, I just talked about my childhood as ‘back then’!) weren’t reading and writing as early as they do today. So I am pretty sure it can’t be much earlier than 1st grade. And I know it wasn’t 3rd grade.
Now the Shark reference in the book makes me think I was aware of the movie Jaws. Which in the summer of 1975 WAS a HUGE summer film (Actually the first of the ‘summer blockbusters’. The genre is considered to have been invented with Jaws.) And my family talked a lot about Jaws because we swam in the river all summer and often fish would bump up against you when you swam which was kind of creepy. So the summer of 1975 seems about right.
And if you are a little boat out at sea – watch out for sharks!