Boats for Papa


Boats for Papa written and illustrated by Jessixa Bagley (2015)

Buckley lived in a small house by the sea with his mama. Everyday he walked the beach collecting driftwood, shells, and small treasures. Everyday he thought about his papa and built small boats which he would set on the water with a note which read “For Papa, Love Buckley”. Then one day while looking in Mama’s desk for a piece of paper to write his note to Papa, Buckley found all of the boats he had made. Mama had collected them from the surf and saved them. Buckley wrote his new note and put it in the hull of his boat. He and Mama set it on the water. That night while Buckley slept, Mama went out to the beach to think about Papa. She found Buckley’s boat washed up on the shore. Inside, she found the note “For Mama, Love Buckley”.


This is a touching story about loss and great opportunity to talk about missing family members. We don’t really know why Papa is missing, but we can imagine why he might be gone and where he might be. We can also wonder about whether or not Papa will ever come home.

Is there anyone your child is missing? Is he/she able to write this person a note? If not, (lucky little one) is there an organization you can write to support someone who is apart from their loved ones? Below are two good organizations, of course you probably know of more near you.

A Million Thanks sends your letters to servicemen here and abroad.

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital accepts cards and letters for their patients. 

Driftwood Art for older kiddos to do at home.8ebc8ec162597b41d84a7f941b57f529 7f1e8b5bd5bb5ada3bb2386f351da46f 3d2f2f03d07c81b93eb81bef2524c198 ff950954bdcf55ffaa74aefc4fd6abda

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