From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–I wished so hard/To sail the sea/That the sea/Sailed right to me! A boy and his dog, Skipper, take off from their small urban backyard into an ocean full of adventure, complete with a ship. Together they encounter enormous waves, a foul-smelling beast with nine heads, mermaids, and an island of crocodiles, pirates, and buried treasure. The rhyming text gives the boy's account of their fast-paced voyage and eventual getaway. Finally, they land safely back home where the sea morphs back into a small wading pool. The warm gouache illustrations full of soft lines and sharp humor really bring this book to life. On the final spread, the child winds down with an evening bubble bath, but readers will know that he and Skipper are already planning their next high-seas escapade. For young children wishing for adventure, this book celebrates the art of pretend.–Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
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The girl and her dog featured in I Wished for a Unicorn
(2000) return for another flight of imagination. Wishing to sail the sea, the dauntless duo find an ocean swelling up in their backyard. Their ensuing shipboard adventures involve a sea monster, a crocodile, a buried treasure, a crew of pirates, and a helpful dolphin. The rhyming verses use plain words in the story's realistic beginning and ending and high-blown nautical language, some of it quite inventive, in its more imaginative center. Adults reading aloud may find themselves stuttering a bit through passages such as "When up surged nine heads / Of a foul-smelling beast / With mean teethy mouths, / Ready to feast." The key is to read slowly, allowing children plenty of time to absorb the unspoken narrative and entertaining details in Denton's equally inventive, always appealing paintings. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved