Some dreams are too big to be kept in bottles.Walter Higgins is a scrappy child with a great imagination, yet is still not quite sure of himself. In fact, he feels lost when he is shipped off to Boston to visit his unknown Great Aunt Hortensia ("the Warden") while his parents pursue their own dream of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Walter feels he is in for the worst summer ever. But then he befriends a mysterious neighbor, Old Zeb, a lonely, grizzled sailor who builds ships in bottles. Deep in the cavernous confines of the cellar, Old Zeb lets Walter in on the Great Secret Project and his lifelong dream.All summer Water works faithfully on the Great Secret Project with Zeb and little by little, Old Zeb and Walter's unexpectedly wise Great Aunt Hortensia push him to realize his own dreams-"climb his own Kilimanjaro-and discover the magic that can be released when one reaches for the stars.