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When a man accompanies his pirate mother to the sea for the first time, everyone tells him it will not be as wonderful as his mother describes
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Grade 1-2 Seeking interesting and worthwhile picture books from the past and reissuing them with new illustrations is a welcome idea. However one can only wonder what the impetus was to bring back the little man in "a respectable brown suit" whose pirate mother leads him to the sea. The story is about a timid clerk who puts his mother in a wheelbarrow to take her back to the sea, where we can only surmise that she once led an exciting life. He attains a sort of epiphany upon reaching the ocean, resigns his stultifying job by dropping a note in a bottle, and ships out as a cabin-boy under his mother's rule still. The latest version has a revised text, somewhat shorter, but essentially the same as the first. Published in 1973 by Atheneum, that edition's collages by Brian Froud were described in contemporary reviews as "witty" and "sophisticated." Chamberlain's carefully detailed colored-ink drawings for this edition are very appealing, but again, cannot save the slight plot. Do-your-own-thing would appear to be the message, but our poor little hero simply trades one boss for another, his only improvements being the putative pleasure of living on the sea, and looser clothing. Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School Library, McKinney, Tex.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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