Tuesday, September 17, 2013

See What a Seal Can Do

 School Library Journal (September 1, 2013)

K-Gr 2-A curious gray seal peers out from the cover, seeming to invite readers into its underwater world. Once inside, the book begins and ends with seals napping on the rocks. This sedentary behavior, the only one visible to earth-bound humans, gives these sea mammals a "lazy" reputation. In fact, as the illustrations go on to show, the seal is anything but. Once below the ocean's surface, the creature's streamlined body and adaptive features (which are described and explained) make it a master predator. The poetic text is full of alliteration, onomatopoeia, and vocabulary that will delight readers. ("A flump is a flop and a jump both together.") Sentences in smaller type act as captions and add further detail, as do the illustrations on the endpapers and the information on the verso of the title page. The beautifully colored, full-spread illustrations portray the seal's transformation from awkward land dweller to sinuous and powerful denizen of the deep. The below-water scenes masterfully evoke the murky ocean habitat and the singular seal's steep descent to the bottom. From the irresistible cover to the closing "super-swimming underwater wonder," the book will encourage readers to dive right in and see what a seal can do.-Carol S. Surges, formerly at Longfellow Middle School, Wauwatosa, WI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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