K-Gr 3-As a long-neglected steamboat is sized up for repair by a retired sea captain, an eager young boy happens into the boat shed, looking to work and learn all he can. Together they restore the vessel and build a friendship. The Captain teaches young Tom about boats and seamanship, filling days and then years together with hard work, lovingly done, and sea tales. When it is finally ready to launch, the Captain is ready to die and chooses to give the boat to Tom, thus beginning his career as a boat captain. This simple story, seemingly set in the late 19th century, is filled with details that aspiring seamen are sure to enjoy. Some pages have little or no text, but the story is carried along by Harrison-Lever's beautiful watercolors. The paintings seem drenched in water and light, using a variety of colors and textures. Jacqueline Briggs Martin's On Sand Island (Houghton, 2003), a story of a boy who learns to build his own boat from the men in his community in the middle of Lake Superior, provides more richness, a better sense of place and time. Call of the Osprey is a good general purchase, sure to be appreciated by children living in waterfront communities or those who dream of a life on the water.-Mary Hazelton, Warren Community School and Miller Elementary School, ME Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.