Lucky Piper Green has a Fairy Tree in her front yard that sometimes yields up treasures—not always what she wants, but what she needs.
In this third title in a charming series set on an island off the coast of Maine, the white second-grader finds a loud bosun’s whistle in the hole in the trunk of her favorite red maple tree. She would have much preferred a pony, but when her father takes her out to help on his lobster boat, she discovers the whistle attracts a seal. Perhaps she could train it to be a sea pony? Piper is a totally convincing second-grader, full of enthusiasm and grand, but not always realistic, plans. Her narration is a believable stream of consciousness, veering from one topic to another in a way that will be familiar to her readers. Her island home will be less familiar to many of them, and Potter continues to provide interesting details. Serving as the sternman on her father’s boat, Piper stuffs dead fish into bait bags and imagines the treasures in lobster traps: “pinchy crabs or starfish or prickly sea urchins or funny-looking sea cucumbers.” She does come to realize that the seal is a wild animal and not an appropriate pet, but her wish comes true in a more appropriate way. Cheerful line drawings add appeal.
Completely satisfying. We wish for more. (Fiction. 6-9)