Take a seaside location, add a colony of gulls and the alphabet, and the result is a clever abecedary specific to Maine.
On each page one word is paired with a gull whose name begins with the same letter and who acts out the descriptive, alliterative sentence. “Airplane / Avery has an afternoon adventure in an airplane.” The red print in “Airplane” is echoed by red wings on the aircraft itself and, in the distance, red stripes on a lighthouse down below. A goggled gull is in the cockpit, giving readers a “thumbs up” with its wing. “Lobster / Ledge loves to see the lobsters in his trap.” A gull clad in red waterproof overalls holds an old-fashioned lobster pot under one wing; four live green lobsters accessorize the picture. As always with an alphabet book, some letters are less fertile than others. “Queen / The sandcastle makes Quoddy feel like a queen.” The letter X shows Xander looking at an X-ray of his broken leg; Zeke zips up his life jacket before zooming off in a canoe to Zephyr Cove. The simple, flat illustrations have a paper-collage, playful look that is amusing. The unusual names are explained by a note on the back cover that states that most of the gulls are named after Maine islands: Nubble, Vaill, Keeler, Haskell, and more. Though the gulls all look the same, it’s their outfits and actions that add individuality.
Kids without a frame of reference will still get a kick out of these goofy gulls. (Picture book. 4-7)