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Who Sank the Boat?
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Who Sank the Boat?

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,547 ratings  ·  129 reviews
A charmingly funny read-aloud that asks an important question: "Who sank the boat?"

Beside the sea, there once lived a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig, and a tiny little mouse. They were good friends, and one warm, sunny morning, for no particular reason, they decided to go for a row in the bay. Do you know who sank the boat?

"The idea is funny, the pictures are splendid, and
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 16th 1996 by Puffin Books (first published 1982)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,547 ratings  ·  129 reviews

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Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indy
Indy loved reading this at grandma's. who sank the boat? Was it big fat donkey? The cheeky pig? The knitting sheep? A fun shorty easy read.
Shirley Revill
A great favourite on my bookshelf.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
My son picked this out telling me his teacher reads it. He's developing a real passion for reading which makes me very happy. I have to say though, this did very little for me. The story is engaging enough but I really disliked the visual style - the animals look grotesque. I can see why it's a classic but I like my illustrated books to have more style. I did quite like that final page though.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
The iceberg sank the boat
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A throwback to my childhood I now get to read to my daughter.
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Who Sank thee Boat?" by Pamela Allen is a creative children's book that relates the tale of a cow, a horse, a pig, a sheep, and a mouse and their simple journey of getting into a rowboat. However, as the title indicates, something goes wrong, and the boat sinks. The enjoyment of reading mainly comes from seeing the story unfold as first the cow, then the horse and the rest of the animals precariously perch on the small craft. Obviously, as the mouse mounts, the ship sinks. Full of fun ...more
Book 2, Day 2 - Mini Family Classics from News Limited.

First published in 1982.
32 pages
Pamela Allen is both author and illustrator.

"Who Sank the Boat" won the Gaelyn Gordon Award in 2001, an annual award for a work of fiction by a living author, that is still in print, and is "generally recongnised as a successful, enduring children's book". Pamela Allen herself received the Margaret Mahy Award in 2004 as "a person who has made a significant contribution to the broad field of children's
Sally Todd
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Who sank the boat, is one of my personal all-time favourite children’s book. The book tells the story of a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig and tiny little mouse who decide to go for a row in the bay. The end question being, who sank the boat? This book is illustrated beautifully throughout the story and allows children to make predictions on who they believe sank the boat. The book also uses poetry which I found to really engage the children and this gives the book a unique edge. I would highly ...more
Sue Winson
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This classic story, retold and illustrated by Pamela Allen, really cracked me up. Maybe I'm losing it in my older years. The story is about animal friends who decide to go on a row in the lake on a nice day. But they're all so chubby!! Then they squeeze themselves one by one into this ridiculously small rowboat to try to take a row, and of course the boat sinks. There's repetition in the asking of "who sank the boat?" After the first three readings, my little guy loved shouting "NOOOO!" to the ...more
Sally Edsall
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lovely illustrations, and a good text, which has some good rhymes. A reading aloud book, definitely, as some of the words are hard for beginning readers, while the story-line is suitable for younger readers. As for science, it is worthwhile building up the picture that everyone sitting in the boat contributes to its sinking. Eventually, the cry goes up that "Everyone did!" in reponse to the question "Who sank the boat?"
Pamela Allen also wrote "Mr Archimedes Bath" which is a terrific exploration
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young children
Shelves: bean

A classic. A clever way of showing younger readers that sometimes there's no single cause when something goes wrong.

The smallest person of the household thought the mouse's contribution to be hilarious.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
Miss 3 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new & favourite authors. This one was ok.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Five animals attempt to get into one small row boat. But which animal actually sank the boat? Kids will start predicting from page one! A great way to open up conversations about the thinking process.
Lynn  Davidson
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Five friends decide to go for a row in a boat. They each get in - and that part is told in rhyme - almost sinking the boat ... until one friend does! Wonderful illustrations.
Samantha Fleming
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite a good book with good illustrations. And the tale was excellent. I just wish the ending on who sank the boat was a little better.
Keely DeRiggs
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rhyming
I loved the theme of this book. I also loved that after all the animals got into the boat, it was the lightest animal of all who sank it.
Ahmer Iqbal Siddiqui
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an all time favourite - have read it many times. Lovely to share it now with my little granddaughters.
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story my children enjoy over and over again.
Chrissy Byers
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great title by Pamela Allen
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this thread! I am always so worried about spoiling the book that my reviews are usually just a few sentences and basically pointless
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a good book which i enjoyed reading to a year 1 class, it is simple and funny. It is about a group of friends,a cow,a donkey,a sheep,a pig and a mouse. They decide to go to the river and take a ride in a boat. One by one they all get in to this unsteady boat and as they get in the boat sinks lower and lower in to the river. The boat is full and ready to sink. The mouse is the last one in line to get in, he dives in and the boat sinks. The issue here is who sank the boat.

The children had
Elise Edwards
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Who Sank the Boat" is the tale of a cow, a donkey, a sheep, a pig, and a tiny little mouse. This abnormal group of friends decide they want to go enjoy the day by going for a ride in their sail boat. There is one problem with their ride- their boat sinks! Each page of the book presents the story of one of the animals and how they might have sank the boat, but each page leaves the reader wondering who really sank the boat. The one who sinks the boat is the least likely of them all.

The full page
Dani B
Nov 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: math
This is a story of a group of animals that try to fit on a boat together. The animals enter the boat one at a time, but eventually it sinks. The book sets up opportunities to predict who will be the cause of the boat sinking. I think this book does a good job of introducing math concepts such as weight. The book helps the reader predict how much weight is too much for the boat. It does not go into specifics on what each animal weighs, but introduces the concept that there is a point where there ...more
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The book ‘Who sank the boat’ was written by Pamela Allen in 1996. It is about a group of friends, the cow, the donkey, the sheep, the pig and the mouse, who all decide to go for a ride on a boat one sunny morning. They all get on the boat one by one, one of which sinking the boat. At the end of the story, you will find out who sank the boat as you will be in for a surprise.
This book is extremely engaging and fun as it allows children to predict on who they believe will sink the boat. It is an
Vicki Purbrick
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: listofbetterment
I enjoyed this book, which is a simple story about five friends who want to take a trip on the boat, but as the title of the book suggests, it sinks. But, the question is which one of the five done this? I would imagine an immediate answer given by children would be the mouse, as he is the smallest and the lightest.

The overall book appearance is a joy of colour, will illustrations that appears to have been done using water colour. This is quite a humorous book to see so many large animals all
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
I bought this book for my nieces. They've asked me to read it about twice a week since then - and we have so many books, that's quite significant!

What I loved about it, more than the fact that the kid can really see how *everybody* sank the boat (very clearly illustrated), is the fact that it clearly presents a common narrative form - the most unlikely person is the one who sinks the boat.

The first time I read it, I paused to ask the older niece if she knew who sank the boat (the question is
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: storytimes
Used this for a program about density, and the kids loved it. I used a felt board to bring the characters to life, because the pages are a bit on the small side. They adored the writing, and caught a case of the giggles at "the pig as fat as butter".

After each animal got into the boat, and didn't sink it, the question was asked, who sank the boat? They loved guessing which creature would lead to the untimely demise of their tiny vessel.

Afterwards we discussed whether or not the mouse really
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Pamela Allen, born in April 1934, in Devonport, New Zealand[1] is a children's writer and illustrator. She has published over 30 picture books since 1980, when she moved to Australia. Eight of her books have been adapted for the stage by The Patch Theatre Company and performed at the Sydney Opera House. Pamela currently lives in Auckland.