The Sea House

The Sea HouseIt’s summertime and Clee and her brother Simon finally visit Uncle Fishtank Hal on his beloved barge. What could be better? Lots of things, thinks Clee not to long after they arrive. Why, the barge barely floats and Uncle Hal’s clearly not much of a sailor. This holiday isn’t turning out as she thought it would.

As surely as the tides pull out the sea and push it in again, Clee’s hopes for her summer wane before they wax full in this warm addition to Deborah Turney Zagwyn’s lovely look at the four seasons.

Simon finally visit Uncle Fishtank Hal’s beloved barge—the floating home they’ve heard so much about—expectations and reality crash like waves against the shore. Why, the barge barely floats, the galley is a mess, and Uncle Hal’s clearly not much of a sailor at all. Clee just can’t hide her disappointment, but the sea and Hal’s cheerfulness work their magic in the end. Deborah Turney Zagwÿn presents a final season of change in the life of Clee.

Deborah Turney Zagwyn says, “A colorful, larger-than-life relative is the best kind in the eyes of a child. He or she livens up family gatherings with stories of legendary proportions.

Fish tank Hal is that kind of uncle, and for years, Clee has been his greatest admirer. But Clee is old enough, in this last of the series, to be critical of her Uncle hal’s shortcomings. He forever putters, but never gets things ship-shape. The differences between true circumstances and embellished reality has always interested me.

How Clee adapts and finally accepts him was fun to explore. Uncle Hal’s ineptness as knot-tying is finally offset in her mind by his ability to make the best of things.

“As I researched hermit crabs for this story, my admiration for them grew. They are the ultimate scavenger recyclers, real homebodies. The ocean is the perfect backdrop – complicated yet straightforward, unpredictable yet dependable. It’s the answer to a displaced hermit crab’s prayer and much like Uncle Hal himself.”

The books in this series are a watercolor tour-de-force—collect them all!

Nautical theme includes notes about knots and sea creatures.

“Brilliant . . . a neat little parable about what makes a home and what ties—or knots—a family together.”— Booklist