The creators of Cactus Hotel and Spoonbill Swamp here take readers on a lobstering expedition with a boy and his uncle. Thanks to Guiberson's direct yet descriptive text and Lloyd's lifelike graphics, readers can almost feel the moistness of the morning fog and hear the screeching of the gulls overhead and the whir of the winch raising the lobster pots. As the two-person crew checks the contents of each trap and replaces the old bait with new, readers become acquainted with the methods--and the ethics--of lobstering. Some excitement edges into the lobstermen's day as the sky darkens and the waves swell, signaling the coming of a squall. Guiberson wraps up her informative lesson with a brief description of this crustacean's annual pattern of molting, migrating and hibernating, as well as the measures taken to maintain the supply of lobsters in the sea. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- A fine picture book about lobstering in Maine. A young boy, Tommy, his uncle, and his dog embark on the Nellie Jean in the early morning fog. Their day is described, not only through the sights, sounds, and smells they experience, but also with bits of information about the lobster business. Responsible fishing, changes through the seasons, and fluctuating prices are all discussed, as well as the hard work, the danger, and the beauty of this way of life. Lloyd's atmospheric watercolor and wash illustrations capture the colors--fog and spray are just right--and the realistic details add meaning to the text. Dahlov Ipcar used a sketchier style and partial color to illustrate Lobsterman (Down East, 1977) and Bruce McMillan's Finestkind O'Day (HarperCollins, 1977; o.p.) features black-and-white photographs. The earlier titles show only wooden traps, while Lloyd shows both wooden and metal. Rubber bands have replaced wooden pegs for the lobster claws. An up-to-date, beautifully executed story. --Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME
Tommy lives in a small seacoast town, where he and his Uncle Russ run a lobster boat. The story is about a day in the life of the two lobstermen, with Tommy and Uncle Russ buying bait, checking the lobster traps, weathering a blustery storm, selling their catch, cleaning the boat, and going home at the end of a long day to mend traps, rest, and eat dinner. Guiberson's writing style is pleasant and easy to read, with evocative descriptions of the sights and sounds of the sea. She's managed to combine realistic details and factual information about lobsters and lobstering with an appealingly told fictional account of a young boy's exciting adventures. An appended note gives additional information. This fact-filled book will certainly appeal to budding marine scientists, young boating enthusiasts, and potential commercial fishers, if such readers exist in the 7-10 age group. But it will also be enjoyable and informative for youngsters who like "real-life" adventures, especially about boats and the water.