'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 18 December 2015

Review: Seagull

Seagull loves to soar over the seaside with the wind under her feathery wingtips, but one day, when flying low over some saltbush, her leg becomes tangled in a fishing line.

Distressed, the bird tries to fly, but is anchored by the line.

She asks her beach friends to help, but no one is able to untangle her leg--and the heaviness, both literally and figuratively, of her plight begins to weigh heavily on the reader, too.

Oh how I wanted to reach into those pages and free her (and dong that fisherman over the head with an oar)!
Tethered to the ground, seagull can only sit and wait quietly on the beach, to learn her fate. Until ... a young boy quietly approaches.

This story, with its classic storyline thread, brought me to tears with its gentle words and breathtaking imagery. Danny Snell's truly gorgeous paintings draw the viewer onto the beach so deeply, I could feel the sand between my toes and smell the salt on the air. I could also feel the seagulls feathers on the palms of my hands and the scratch of that horrid fishing line, as I wound the bird's leg free.

An important book for young children to immerse themselves in, this is a beautiful production in both text and image. How vital it is for children to learn to be aware, thoughtful and compassionate. Seagull is a priceless way to combine poignant storytelling with stunning pictures and a heartfelt life lesson. A book that can combine all three of these things without schmaltz or didactic elements, is a true work of art, and Danny Snell has certainly done that with Seagull.

Stickers for this one.

Title: Seagull
Author/Illustrator: Danny Snell
Publisher: Working Title Press, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 26 August 2015
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781921504815
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book