It was stormy weather and Tim who was tired of his books and lessons was looking out of the window and wishing he was at sea again.
And soon, of course, he is, as second ship's boy on the SS Fidelity of 3000 tons. At first Tim has tremendous trouble with the first ship's boy Ginger (you will jolly well have to do what I tell you or I will bash you). But before long Ginger has had a terrible encounter with the Third Mate's hair restorer: and nothing, as they say, is ever the same again.
I love this book. I love Ardizzone's pale watercolours and cross-hatching (why don't modern illustrators do cross-hatching?) I love the emphasis on truly interesting things like the fact that Alaska Pete has a passion for King Charles the First.
I love the fact that it's all a bit bonkers, really - and that, after many perils, it comes to a truly satisfying ending.
And all this in a picture book, too.
Word To Use Today: hero. This word has meant the same thing for thousands of years. Even before our alphabet was invented, when people spoke Ancient Greek, the word was pretty much the same.
It's only lately that stories with heroes have become not quite so popular, but I think it's about time splendidly brave people like Tim are celebrated again.
HURRAY FOR TIM!