Bernadine is a little West Indian girl, and her story is about the first time she was allowed to walk alone to the village to fill up the family water bucket. She started on the expedition with an empty bucket on her head and a toy boat in her hand, but in the course of her peregrinations she managed to accumulate an armful of odds and ends. Faced with the gymnastic problem of how to hold the water on her head and still pick up the rest of her armload--she rationalized, and returned home with the boat, a lizard, a fish, and a conch shell, and a very little water. It's the sort of mishap which very young children can always enjoy, although the present tense narration tends to slow down the story. The black sketches on a lavender wash are a little confused and static for this age group.