The story of the best birthday present that anyone ""ever didn't get"" is even better now than when it first came out in 1971, because this time around it is illustrated by Tommy himself. Everyone, as a child, has yearned to give someone a really good present, without anyone else's help. Tommy's struggles first to think of a present for his mother (a fish) and then to obtain it during long hours at the beach demonstrate his determination as well as his satisfaction when the fish gets away. In his first children's book, Thomas Watson's oil paintings are clearly rooted in remembrance, evoking a long, light-filled day at the sea and showing all of Tommy's siblings procuring their gifts from nature. A loving project, beginning to end.