FICTION
Finn the Little Seal
Kelpies Floris/. May 2019. 24p. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781782505549.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2–Growing up is hard, especially for a little gray seal who must find his way in the big sea. Finn is happy on the shore of his familiar island, beside his familiar rock pool filled with familiar sea creatures. His mother leaves to find food, and Finn contentedly awaits her return. One day, another young seal named Sula befriends him and encourages Finn to venture into the water with her, but he refuses, insisting that the sea is too big for him. After receiving a big push into the unknown, however, Finn discovers that the big sea is not as frightening as he thought. Watercolor images bring Finn’s home in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland to life and create a lovely backdrop for this story; readers can almost hear the cries of the seagulls on each page. Finn’s transition from childhood is marked by a profound image of him plunged headfirst, seemingly alone, into the depths of the sea; the design of this page in particular stands out among the rest. The text is plain compared to the illustrations, both in font and in placement, but the repetition and predictability of the story make it an enjoyable read.
VERDICT This is at once a delightful story about a young seal and a helpful lesson for young children who are reluctant to leave the comfort and safety of their familiar surroundings

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