Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: Review of Nautical Codes Book for Children

Nautical Codes books Children

Educational and fun, boat kids learn about maritime signal flags, Morse code and more in beautifully produced keepsake book

A complimentary copy of the book "Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Complete book of Nautical Codes" was provided to in exchange for an unbiased review on this site.

My kids are always excited about boats and anything nautical. And as they get older they are eager to understand more about what boating terms mean - to understand more than just "it's fun being on a boat".

While there may be many books that touch on boating for younger kids, there are few boat-inspired books on the market that appeal to older kids. It's a fine balance between educating kids about maritime knowledge and really keeping them entertained and engaged.

A new book on the market called Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes by Sara Gillingham aims to introduce kids to maritime communication through nautical flags, Morse code, the phonetic alphabet and semaphore signaling (and quite frankly, us adults could learn a lot from this book too!)

We were lucky enough to get a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review for the site. And I have two kids that know a thing or two about giving honest feedback! 😉

First Impressions of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

Nautical Flags bookThe book Alpha, Bravo, Charlie is visually STUNNING. There is no better word to describe it. The size, colors and design of the book are very impressive.

First of all, it is a quality hardback book that truly looks like a keepsake (possibly even a "coffee table" book). It is an over-sized 9 x 11 inch hardback book with 120 full color pages.

As you turn the pages several pages throughout the book are even die cut to match the shape of nautical flags (nice touch that kids really seem to appreciate). There's even a slight linen texture to the double-sided nautical flag pages.

nautical book kidsThe text throughout the book is in a slightly larger font that is easy to read. Illustrations are kid friendly, yet not too childish for the target age of 8-12 year olds. Although it is meant for children that can read, the overall colorful design really appeals to younger children as well.

My 8 year old enjoyed reading it to my 4 year old... and the 4 year old was very drawn to the colorful illustrations.

The book is beautifully tactile, featuring nautical-themed artwork that is intended to inspire children to code and decode messages of their own using the easy-to-understand signaling instructions. It appeals to avid learners and children interested in boats and all things nautical.

Diving into the Content

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie was created in consultation with the International Maritime Organization and the Nautical Institute. The book includes 26 nautical flags bound into the book with specially treated paper, with each flag standing for a letter as well as a phrase relevant to seafaring.

According to the author/illustrator Sara Gillingham:

"Alpha, Bravo, Charlie is for readers who love to dive into a brand new world every time they open a book. This book has been created with young adventurers in mind, and brings the world of ships - a world we know so little about, but depend on so much - to the surface. It may even inspire some readers to find adventure as a ship's captain on the high seas!"

Bottom line, this is a graphically stunning book that will make a wonderful addition to your children's book collection. It is well worth the affordable price for such a beautiful keepsake book. If your kids are into boats or anything nautical (and what kid isn't?), grab yourself a copy!

Where to Buy:

Get your boat kids a copy of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes by Sara Gillingham on Amazon

Diane Seltzer

View posts by Diane Seltzer
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site Active in the boating industry, Diane has also led the marketing for multiple recreational boating businesses and startups and is the author of the children's book The Amazing Adventures of Boat Girl.
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