Using a watery palette that matches her story, Cuevas gives us a solitary man whose job it is to retrieve bottles from the ocean and deliver the messages inside. Will there ever be a message addressed to him? A quiet, dreamlike story about finding friendship.
— Jennifer Armstrong
A message in a bottle holds the promise of surprise and wonder, as told in this enthralling picture book by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottles found at sea and make sure that the messages are delivered. He loves his job, though he has always wished that, someday, one of the letters would be addressed to him. One day he opens a party invitation—but there’s no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery of the intended recipient, he ends up finding something even more special: the possibility of new friends.
About the Author
Michelle Cuevas graduated from Williams College and holds a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Virginia. She is the author of three children’s novels, including the acclaimed Confessions of an Imaginary Friend. She lives in Berkshire County in Massachusetts.
Erin E. Stead is the award-winning illustrator of five picture books, including the Caldecott Medal winner A Sick Day for Amos McGee and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor winner And Then It's Spring. She lives in a 100-year-old barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, author and illustrator Philip C. Stead.
Praise for The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
TIME Top 10 Children's Books of 2016 People Magazine Best Children's Books of 2016 School Library Journal Best Books of 2016 Boston GlobeBest Books of 2016
“Cuevas’s prose is laden with gems . . . gorgeous sentences as precious as the messages themselves. Beauty shines through a fog of sadness . . . Colors—the tawny body of a cat, the red of the man’s Cousteau-esque knit cap—bloom with Stead’s whispery pencil drawings.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Erin Stead’s illustrations are as softly scuffed as sea glass and so suffused with wistfulness that readers ages 4-8 may feel pensive before they’ve embarked on the story. Michelle Cuevas has reworked a historical curiosity—an official job, in Elizabethan England, of opening bottles that might contain naval secrets—into a contemporary tale of longing and consolation.”—The Wall Street Journal
* "Readers will find both consolation and encouragement on every visit to this emotionally resonant, evocative story."—Kirkus, starred review
* "Stead's characters exude an endearing vulnerability and quirky charm. . . . A perfect pairing of text and art. Share this quiet story with your wishers and dreamers."—School Library Journal, starred review
* "Caldecott Medalist Stead's ethereal spreads give the characters distinctive, captivating personalities. . . . The underlying message about learning to see the worth of every person is a treasure."—Publishers Weekly, starred review