When Jonathan loses his best friend, a stuffed bear named Frederick, he sets sail on the Big Blue Boat to find him. Along the way he assembles a ragtag crew, including a mountain goat, a lonely circus elephant, and even a friendly whale. Adventure and intrigue (and pirates!) follow.
“The text has a gentle, meandering flavor with a repeated cumulative refrain…. The illustrations are striking…” --BCCB
""Children will happily shift their focus from big to little, from large shapes to tiny numbers, from Jonathan’s story to the pieces that make up its pictures."" –Starred, Kirkus Reviews
“Stead (A Sick Day for Amos McGee) uses squiggly ink lines and washes of warm color against a background of collaged newsprint, charts, and stamps that underscore the nautical theme and distance traveled . . . . a lovely, gentle adventure for younger readers.” –Starred, Publishers Weekly
“Stead combines playful compositions and his hero's serious intent in a winning combination. What at first seems almost whimsical, upon closer inspection reveals careful planning in each illustration.” –Shelf Awareness
“Stead skillfully employs color to reflect Jonathan’s mood: an initial bright sky when the boy and Frederick are together, growing darkness as he sets off alone, and a final scene in which an orange-bright “globe” sun beams its rays on the reunited travelers. A gentle tale heralding imagination’s triumph over disappointment.” –School Library Journal