Tambov the Tugboat

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Pub Date 23 Jul 2018 | Archive Date 12 Nov 2018

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A story of facing adversity and remaining true to your own standards. Tambov is a little steam engine that finds his place in a world of big diesels and gas powered tugs.


Keywords: Tugboat, Steam Engine, Adversity, Challenges

A story of facing adversity and remaining true to your own standards. Tambov is a little steam engine that finds his place in a world of big diesels and gas powered tugs.


Keywords: Tugboat...

A Note From the Publisher

Keywords: Tugboat, Steam Engine, Adversity, Challenges

Keywords: Tugboat, Steam Engine, Adversity, Challenges

Available Editions

ISBN 9781506906782
PRICE $5.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

Send to Kindle (EPUB)

Average rating from 11 members

Featured Reviews

The first thing which went through my mind when I opened the book was "Wow!", because the pictures are pretty stunning. The ocean sparkles in bright blue and cute tugboat Tambov, she sure is a wee beauty.

Tambov's skipper Roger takes great pride in his work. Every morning he's the early bird, up and ready, cleaning away and oiling the machinery. They work hard all day, every day, but they make a splendid team, our Tambov and Roger.
After a nasty storm a big job is waiting for the two and sadly, it just takes too long for tiny Tambov to manage it all in time and bigger, faster tugboats are build. Talnov and Serov take over and Roger and Tambov lose their job.

Luckily Roger keeps looking for work and eventually comes across an ad in the papers where a small town far away has a position for a tugboat exactly like our Tambov. And off they are, ready to travel a far distance for a new job and a new life in the town of Active. (I wonder what life must be like for the people who live in Passive.)

There they are very welcome and life goes back to daily routine, until another severe storm causes an emergency and suddenly Tambov has to tug the now struggling Talnov and Serov, the rival tugboats which got them out of work in the first place, safely back to the harbour.
After performing an outstanding job, their old hometown would love for the two to return to their old work, even offering a much better pay than Active can afford.

Will Roger and Tambov accept the offer and return?

Sadly, the storytelling is quite longwinded and there are endless expressions, which a young audience will find tricky to understand:
"Roger had to step out on deck to attach the tow-line to the bollard, and throw the heaving line to the first tug in line." Got it?
Even I had to read the sentence twice.
We hear the harbour needs a "breakwater" but there's no explanation for the kids what it means.

The book is aimed at children 5 and up and the words are too difficult and there's no need for it, except they plan to take over Roger's job.
Another thing which rolled from my tongue as heavy as a stromwave are the tugboat names: Tambov, Talnov, Serov. My son had problems to keep track of who's who and so did I.

On the other hand the illustrations are simply superb and the story has a very good moral.
Roger is prepared to look for work and a new life elsewhere, even when it's miles away, after facing unemployment in his hometown and on the way he understands fulfilment and happiness are more important. Money isn't everything.

The story of Tambov really tugged on my heart and is well worth a read, but it simply needs some polishing.

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