cover image Bluewater Journal: The Voyage of the Sea Tiger

Bluewater Journal: The Voyage of the Sea Tiger

Loretta Krupinski. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023436-2

The journal Benjamin Slocum keeps on board his father's clipper ship serves as an engrossing, fact-filled capsule of seafaring life in 1860. Benjamin sails from Boston, rounding Cape Horn to reach the Sandwich Islands, experiencing seasickness and storms as well as the excitement of seeing exotic locations and sea creatures and of racing another ship. Authentic details, such as the sailors' use of chalkboards to communicate with passing ships, make the story rich and memorable. The experiences Benjamin relates are based on thorough research; Krupinski (A New England Scrapbook) is both a sailor and a noted maritime painter. Her love of the sea shines through the descriptive passages: ``I think how much I like to see the canvas stretch in a gale, and listen to the masts creaking and the wind piping through the rigging.'' Rendered mostly in gouache and colored pencil, the illustrations are clear yet slightly stylized, projecting a warmly idiosyncratic vision of a vanished world. Ages 6-9. (May)