A brother and sister--inquisitive, reckless Claude and older, protective Maude--set out for France on an ocean liner and arrive on the back of a whale in this lighthearted rhyming saga by the author-illustrator of the more purposeful Too Short Fred (1978). Claude's gleeful mischief and Maude's horrified pursuit, which spark the shipboard scenes, come to a climax when Claude, perched on the stern (""feeding a tern""), falls into the ocean and dutiful Maude jumps in after. Providentially, she siezes a life preserver as she goes down and somehow (all this is unnoted in the text) throws it to happily splashing Claude. Then they're approached by a whale fleeing a whaleboat; Maude proposes sitting on its spout so it can pass as an island; and, the whale-catcher outfoxed, friend whale repays Maude and Claude with a ride to the French coast. ""It just goes to show/how caring can grow,/even when it starts out with your brother,"" Maude concludes. That Maude and Claude are foxes--with strong emotive powers--gives this the extra fillip that keeps the pages turning.