cover image A Sea-Wishing Day

A Sea-Wishing Day

Robert Heidbreder, , illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton. . Kids Can, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-55337-707-8

With a little imagination, a boy and his dog, Skipper, turn a backyard wading pool into the high seas—thanks to Denton's transformative powers—and embark on a series of adventures. They sail on a magnificent clipper ship and encounter a nine-headed "foul-smelling beast/ With mean teethy mouths,/ Ready to feast." They find buried treasure on a tropical isle and give some pirates (as well as some admiring mermaids) the slip by hopping aboard a porpoise. Heidbreder's (I Wished for a Unicorn ) rhymes tend to thud more than soar ("Ahoy!/ A ship came billowing by./ Aboard we sprang,/ Skipper and I"), but Denton is in fine, freewheeling form. She takes the rhyme "I wished so hard/ To sail the sea/ That the sea/ Sailed right to me!" as a launch point, and the boy's wading pool metamorphoses as a slowly encroaching wave sweeps the initially dubious, then delighted, young fellow and his dog off their feet. The subsequent pages glow with iridescent color and wry details, and the hero has an appealing Sendak-like impishness. Ages 3-8. (Apr.)