Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
Summary: Captain Swashby and the sea have been friends throughout his sailing career, so when he retires, it’s only natural that he settles down by the sea. But avast! The captain’s peaceful retirement is interrupted by an exuberant girl and her granny who have moved into the previously vacant house next door. When they start invading the beach, Swashby leaves messages in the sand to keep them away. But the sea, knowing what’s best for the Captain, intervenes, and washes some letters away. “No Trespassing” becomes “Sing”; “Now vanish” turns into “w–ish”. When “Please go away” is transformed into “Pl–ay”, Swashby no longer can resist, and ends up tutoring the girl on how to build a sand castle. The sea has one more trick to play to seal their friendship, and before long, Swashby is leaving a new message, “Thank ye, friend”. Which gets transformed to “Th-e end.” 32 pages; ages 3-7.
Pros: An adorable and clever story about friendship and the power of words. The illustrations by Caldecott honoree Juana Martinez-Neal could be in the running for some awards this year.
Cons: Swashby is quite the grouch.