Book Review: Casey the Container
Bringing the world of containerized cargo to young readers.
This rhyming children’s book follows Casey the Container, a new shipping container, along her journey on her first day in port. Casey meets new friends, experiences the workings of the waterfront, and learns the important role containers play in our world. The story, as told from Casey’s perspective, provides operational insight about the movement of containerized cargo. Eighty-five percent of goods used within the world are transported in shipping containers arriving on container ships.
In sharing Casey’s journey, readers of all ages learn how containerized cargo makes its way to the United States and into local stores for purchase. As Casey learns the operational ways of the waterfront, she experiences the importance of teamwork, helping others when they are lost, and discovers how much she loves being part of part of this “family that moves cargo every day.” Casey the Container and her first day in port is a learning experience for the whole family, supporting STEM initiatives.
A Southern California native, author Kristina Bowden always saw the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on the horizon. “I distinctly remember my third-grade field trip to the Port of Long Beach. We came back to class and recreated gantry cranes from toothpaste boxes.” In 2003, Kristina graduated from the California Maritime Academy and began her career on the same waterfront she visited as a child. She spent the next eleven years working for one of the nation’s largest stevedores. “In my time on the waterfront, I had the opportunity to learn from experienced longshoremen and managers. Those lessons resonated with me and are now being shared in Casey’s journey.”
About the Book: Casey the Container: And Her First Day in Port
About the Author: Kristina Bowden
Kristina spends her days in “all things Bowden Family.” She’s the President and Owner of West Coast Resource Services, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in occupational safety for marine terminals and stevedores. When she’s not working on various safety projects, or writing Casey’s adventures, she can be found camping in the high Sierra Nevada mountains with her husband and son. She says, "Having spent the entirety of my career in marine terminal operations and safety, I’m an experienced waterfront professional. In 2014, my husband and I welcomed our son into the world. His library quickly grew to include children’s classics and new favorites, but I couldn’t find a book about the industry I loved and knew so well. After discovering this void in the world of children’s books, I decided to fill it. Putting words on paper, a character named Casey the Container came to life."
Marcia Verkaik is the book's Illustrator.
For the past decade, a concerted effort among North American educators and maritime stakeholders to shine a light on career opportunities both on the waterfront and at sea has been underway. Pushing 'maritime' curriculum all the way down to the middle school level and also creating many maritime-themed high schools nationwide, the effort has started to pay dividends. Bowden's book takes the concept just a step further, in a fun and age-appropriate children's book that is sure to stir the imaginations of those who read it.