March 24, 2018

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A Seal Named Patches by Roxanne & Patrick Robinson | SLJ Review

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redstarBELTRAN, Roxanne & Patrick Robinson. A Seal Named Patches. 40p. photos. University of Alaska. Nov. 2017. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781602233317.

K-Gr 3 –In this beautifully presented science-focused narrative, readers follow the progress of a team of scientists trying to locate Patches, a Weddell seal. Why? Because she is the most successful seal mom in Weddell seal history, having given birth to 21 pups. The team has visited her every year since she was born. Learning about Patches will help scientists understand how seals survive in a well-protected, pristine ecosystem. The authors do an excellent job of telling this true story. The writing is clear and tinged with emotion as the scientists wait anxiously for a chance to spot Patches and only succeed on their last day in Antarctica. And while they search, the scientists also take time to stop and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings; their awe is clearly conveyed to readers. There is passionate engagement here. This well-crafted writing is accompanied by large, captivating photographs showing the scientists at work among snow-covered mountains, seals, penguins, and even a minke whale. VERDICT An outstanding choice for budding scientists, animal lovers, and readers who want to expand their horizons to include Antarctica.–Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2018 issue.

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