Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Lena Arro & illustrated by Catarina Kruusval & translated by Kjersti Board

Pub Date: April 18th, 2001
ISBN: 91-29-65348-7
Publisher: R&S/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Handsome, evocative pen-and-wash artwork transports this merry adventure tale to impressive heights. Young Bubble is shipped to his aged cousins for a week while his parents are away. The two grizzled characters take the boy under wing and for entertainment, they build a model sailboat Bubble has brought along. The instructions say to put the finished model in water for it to attain full size. Sure enough, the next morning the ship is ocean-worthy, so the three set sail. Bubble is the captain, old man Granstrom is the cook (and a rotten one at first, given to such oaths as “glutinous glowworm” and “rubbery rattlesnake” when he burns the baloney), while Herring August stands lookout. Their minor exploits (including a stint as pirates, stealing a candy bar and red pencil) come to a close when the oatmeal runs out. They return home, dry off the boat, and now it sits on their mantle waiting for the next adventure. A fine blend of fantasy and tongue-in-cheek enterprise, with engaging characters, a mellow mood for all the adventure (this book could serve as a lullaby), and steady pacing, all knit together with Kruusval’s excellent detailed illustrations. (Picture book. 4-7)