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The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles    by Michelle Cuevas & Erin E. Stead order for
Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
by Michelle Cuevas
Order:  USA  Can
Dial, 2016 (2016)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I love Erin E. Stead's delicate watercolor illustrations in The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, written by Michelle Cuevas.

The lonely Uncorker's job is to open bottles found at sea and ensure that any messages in them are delivered (apparently such a job existed in the time of England's Queen Elizabeth I!) He lives on a hill and keeps watch below for any glint of glass in the ocean.

He delivers all kinds of messages, at times traveling far to do so. Most of them make people happy 'for a letter can hold the treasure of a clam-hugged pearl.' But he never gets one for himself.

Then he finds a bottle with an unusual message inside, but with no address on it. He can't deliver it though he does ask around. So he goes to the seashore where the party the letter mentioned was to be - and has a lovely time.

If you're looking for something rather unusual in a picture book, then try this one. It will especially appeal to children who love the ocean and a touch of mystery.

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