cover image Ferry Tail

Ferry Tail

Katharine Kenah, illus. by Nicole Wong. Sleeping Bear, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58536-829-7

Walter, a dog with no shortage of energy, performs a spectrum of daily tasks on a boat as it ferries people to an island from the mainland. Some of his jobs are self-assigned ("He barked at sea gulls, posed in family pictures, and kept an eye on babies"), and he also "helps" the engineer by wagging his tail when she asks if the boat is ready to depart and happily serves as a bacon tester for the cook. After Walter's onboard nemesis, a pampered cat named Cupcake, interferes with his important work, the dog abandons ship when it docks. On the unfamiliar island (the artwork suggests that it may be Martha's Vineyard), Walter discovers that no one there appreciates his moxie or helpfulness, and he cannot find his way back to the ferry until Cupcake appears to guide him. Wong's (No Monkeys, No Chocolate) lighthearted pictures call to mind Alison Lester's work and effectively evoke the story's seaside setting. Walter's anxiety on land makes his ferryboat homecoming all the more sweet and gratifying. Ages 5%E2%80%938. (Apr.)