The Little Ships: A Story of the Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk by Louise Borden, Michael Foreman

The Little Ships: A Story of the Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk

Written by Louise Borden, Michael Foreman

5+ readers   3+ readers   The World Wars   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

This is a wondrous book that has been unavailable for far too long. At last though it’s back for a new generation of children to enjoy, and perhaps their parents too. Michael Foreman with Louise Borden have successfully brought to life the story of those on a small fishing craft which formed part of the Armada of little ships that saved many besieged British troops in Dunkirk in the second World War. The spare and dramatic text alongside some remarkable pictures bring this very important bit of our history vividly to life.


The Little Ships: A Story of the Heroic Rescue at Dunkirk by Louise Borden, Michael Foreman

In May 1940, many countries in Europe were at war with Nazi Germany. Half a million British and French soldiers were trapped on three sides in northern France by German troops and tanks. The only escape for the Allied army was the sea. An incredible armada of over 800 craft, including Royal Navy ships and a flotilla of small river and coastal boats, thereafter known as the little ships , was assembled on the south-eastern coast of England. They sailed across the English Channel to Dunkirk in France to rescue the beseiged troops. The wide Dunkirk beach was covered with men who were hungry and thirsty, with horses running loose from their French riders, with dozens of barking dogs, with trucks and equipment - the disarray of an army on the run. In her vivid and deeply moving text, Louise Borden tells the story of one small fishing craft from Deal that was part of the armada. It is told from the point of view of a young girl who donned her brother's old clothes and sailed with her father on the family boat, the Lucy. The story of that incredible venture is part truth, part fiction. It could have happened. Michael Foreman, who as a boy during World War II lived in a small fishing town on the English coast, has created remarkable pictures that, together with Louise Borden's spare and dramatic text and an interesting introductory note by Christopher Dreyer, who commanded the Royal Navy ship MTB 102 in the armada, bring vividly alive this historic rescue in which over 300,000 men were saved.


I must also mention the welcome reissue in January of Foreman's The Little Ships which has been out of print for some time and has been sorely missed. Written by Louise Borden in a poetic style, this is a moving account for children of all ages of the evacuation of Dunkirk. -- Marylin Brocklehurst Bookseller Their dramatic and touching story is vivdly brought to life in this atmospheric picture book with poetic style writing and animated illustrations. Primary Times Stunning watercolour illustrations bring this piece of history to dramatic life. Angels and Urchins A fascinating book and a welcome reissue. Carousel The striking and evocative text is equally matched with the distinctive and powerful illustrations from Michael Foreman. School Librarian

About the Author

Louise Borden graduated from Denison University with a degree in history. For several years she taught young children and later was part owner of a bookshop in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to writing children's books, she also speaks to students about the writing process. She has written a number of picture books, including Just in Time for Christmas, illustrated by Ted Lewin, The Watching Game, illustrated by Teri Weidner, and, with co-author Mary Kay Kroeger, Paperboy, illustrated by Ted Lewin. Louise lives with her family in Terrace Park, Ohio.

He has illustrated books by authors such as Dickens, Shakespeare, The Brothers Grimm, Roald Dahl and Rudyard Kiping, has designed Christmas stamps for the Post Office, and regularly contributes illustrations to American and European magazines.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 7


Louise Borden, Michael Foreman
More books by Louise Borden, Michael Foreman

Author's Website


Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd

Publication date

7th January 2010




I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

It’s so easy to find the right book for your child. Such an easy-to-use, yet in-depth website. 100% reliable.

Pippa, Jack, Liam & Matthew Wils

It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

Lovereading is just a convenient way to find new books and hear others opinions on them.

Sarah Murray – age 15

Lovereading 4 schools