Once again, in slimly fictionized form, Holling has conveyed a substantial slice of history, in gorgeous, opulent, colorful, informational fashion, if a wee bit overstuffed. Seabird, carved out of ivory by a cabin boy, Ezra Brown, back in 1832, acts as a peg on which to hang the story of four generations of seafaring Browns. Fascinating details of whaling ships make the early part of the book a delight, but it tends to get rotund and stuffy in the later sections. However, the author's vivid, full color illustrations, and detailed decorative sketches, are worth the price. A handsome job indeed, definitely deserving a place as supplementary reading for upper grades, and good merchandise for the holiday market. With a little more ease and humor, a little less pageant-of-history feeling, this would have been one of the outstanding juveniles of the year.