K-Gr 3-A fun story of intergenerational friendship. Wild Will is a grouchy, retired pirate who wants to be left alone. So, when he helps a young boy recover a broken kite from his roof, he doesn't want any thanks. But Frank is persistent, and every day he leaves a homemade gift on the man's doorstep. Eventually his heart warms toward the boy, and he regales him with tales of his adventures, inspiring Frank to suggest that they search for his lost treasure. They build a raft, and only then does the uneasy bloke confess that he can't swim. Pirate fans will clamor for this sprightly, original tale. Will's stories will enthrall young dreamers, but some will wonder how-with his paralyzing fear of the water-he survived his years on the high seas. Is his past an elaborate fantasy he's developed to maintain his solitary lifestyle? Readers must decide for themselves. Softly colored watercolor illustrations, with an emphasis on sea greens and blues, reveal Will's crusty character as well as his gradual mellowing. Equally expressive are the depictions of the youthful and ernest Frank. Will's self-made pirate's house deserves poring over, and the underwater scenes are lovely. The youngster's solution to his friend's inability to swim is revealed in a visual denoument that will tickle readers' fancy.-Jeanne Marie Clancy, Upper Merion Township Library, King of Prussia, PA
First published in the Netherlands, this is the story of Will, a tough, retired pirate who hates people. When young Frank climbs up on Will's roof and is scared to death of coming down, the ex-pirate feels forced to help the lad. Frank becomes attached to Will, leaving little handmade presents at his door. As their friendship develops, Will makes Frank a kite to replace the one ruined on the roof and shares his sea treasures with the boy, although he is convinced the boy is a "landlubber." The truth comes out when Frank suggests building a boat to explore the sea together, and Will reluctantly admits he can't swim. Colorful, imaginative drawings expand the text portraying unusual creatures and capturing the unfolding, gentle relationship between a large, old man and a small, young boy.