The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
by Michelle Cuevas (author) and Erin E. Stead (illustrator)
Age Range: 4 - 8 years (preschool - 3)
Pages: 40 

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles is a spare and sweet story about the power of friendship and connection, from author Michelle Cuevas and Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead.

Anyone who has ever felt lonely will connect with this story. Atop a high spot lives a man known as The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles. There, he looks out over the ocean, searching for glass bottles containing messages. When a message is found, he travels earth and sea to deliver it. Secretly, he yearns to receive a message of his own. 

One day, the Uncorker of Ocean Bottles discovers a bottle containing a cryptic invitation to a sea-side party. But who is the invitation for? The message offers him no clues so he rides a bicycle and boat across land and sea, searching for the note's recipient. On his journey he comes upon a seagull, a sailor, and a one-man band... none of whom can claim the letter. Yet, they would all love to attend a sea-side party. Who wouldn't?

When it is time for the party, the Uncorker of Ocean Bottles visits the seashore. Like any thoughtful party guest he brings a gift -- a handful of his favorite seashells. But what he finds on the seashore fills his heart like a "glass vessel filled to the brim."  He discovers he is not alone. Every person he encountered on his journey is waiting by the sea. Just like the Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, they too yearned for connection and friendship. Who doesn't?

This delicate, finely told story possesses enough meaning and beauty to be read again and again.  A perfect gift for a treasured love one.  To read this book is a gift--like receiving a handful of seashells from a friend.

"For the Ocean Bottle Senders and Ocean Bottle Seekers: Try. Want. Wish. Tell."
-Michelle Cuevas