Sid Seal, Houseman

Will Watkins, Author Orchard Books (NY) $14.95 (89p) ISBN 978-0-531-05784-1
Picture a townhouse on Boston's stately Beacon Hill, where the stuffy de Swine family lives in porcine elegance. Add one impudent seal named Sid, who slipped in for a swim in the master bath and ended up taking on the job of houseman, and you have the makings of a deliciously silly story. Little Waltham, the de Swine's only, lonely offspring, has led a sheltered life--but Sid puts a stop to that. Under his new friend's tutelage, the delighted piglet is hustled out of his genteel surroundings and into a series of scrapes and madcap adventures. He and the intrepid seal enliven swimming lessons at the Y, visit Sid's grandmother at the aquarium (where she teaches water ballet), weather a blizzard (snowed in at a chocolate shop) and save a family of homeless cats from a disagreeable porker named Jasper Rattle. Sid, a sort of Mary Poppins with flippers, even manages to outwit and win over the dour and disapproving Nanny Trotter (who calls him ``fish breath''). When spring arrives and the call of the sea proves too much for an old salt like Sid, he heads north for the Grand Banks, leaving behind a new and improved Waltham, no longer timid. This wonderfully engaging first novel is enhanced by Goffe's fetching line drawings. It's a rollicking good read, and should have grand appeal for middle readers. Ages 7-10. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Hardcover - 89 pages - 978-0-531-08384-0
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