A little boy on a perilous adventure at sea needs someone to see him safely home.
The first double-page spread introduces a little boy in a yellow slicker and sou’wester, leaning precariously from a boat and dragging a net through the water. The charming, digitally rendered illustrations feature a lighthouse in the distance and a welcoming harbor with a dog keeping watch on the water. Large black text undulates like a wave across the page, asking: “Who will keep the boy safe?” With a turn of the page, his mother answers: “I will….I will hold him close…and never let him lean too far.” But who will keep them both safe? The boat’s captain will. And who will keep the boat safe? A star will guide it through a storm and safely back to harbor. Finally, the questions come to rest in a way that gently empowers the boy at the heart of the story and recalls its opening scene. Who will keep the star safe? “I will,” says the little boy, now holding his red net out his window: “I will lean out my window, but not too far… / and catch you if you fall." Marlow’s illustrations reveal a quaint, North Atlantic coastal setting; all characters are white, and both the boat’s captain and the little boy (under his slicker) sport cozy fisherman-knit sweaters.
This sentimental story of a return voyage carries an important message—let's all take care of one another. (Picture book. 2-5)