The Seagull and the Sea Captain

S. & S./Paula Wiseman. Mar. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534482241.
PreS-Gr 3–Not much happens in this tale set in Gloucester Harbor, based on a true story about a sea captain (who remains unnamed) and his encounter and subsequent friendship with a five-toed herring gull he dubs Polly Five Toes. There is very little action; the most exciting moment is a reunion after the captain’s long absence from the sea. The compelling watercolor illustrations are beautiful and dreamlike; Schimler-Safford uses geometric shapes to draw the readers’ eyes to the landscape. The vibrant colors and the detailed images complement the story well. The back matter provides a mix of both anecdotal as well as scientific information about seagulls, and this elevates the material. It could lead to prompts for discussions with older children in a classroom, or for families reading the story together at home.
VERDICT A simple story with engaging illustrations for selected purchase.

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