THE ADVENTURES OF ARTHUR AND EDMUND: A Tale of Two Seals by Bonte Duran

THE ADVENTURES OF ARTHUR AND EDMUND: A Tale of Two Seals

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Would it tickle you to see two baby seals asleep in a pair of rocking chairs? Young and older fans of animal drollery, and of stories told in shorthand pen-and-ink (brown wash and line, on buff), will find the peregrinations of Arthur and Edmund a little special, a little unusual. The story, such as it is, has the two stealing away from Seal Island while their parents are napping; meeting a little girl, Lucy; and, after a visit to her house (site of the rocking chairs), returning home, to their not-so-cross parents, in her boat. The charm, for aficionados of the genre, is both in the casual animal/ person contacts and contrasts (in Emily's house, only the rock-built, wood-filled fireplace feels ""like home"") and in the byplay between the pert young seals. They play hide-and-seek: ""Why do you poke your nose out?"" asks Arthur; ""I was afraid you wouldn't find me,"" says Edmund. They have a diving contest; ""You are the best,"" says Arthur; ""Yes, I think I am,"" says Edmund. But for all their nonchalance, they're relieved that they can see Seal Rocks from Emily's front porch. And their return home has a thoughtful wrinkle characteristic of the whole: seeing them approach, all the seals (save their dignified parents) swim out and surround the boat. ""When they noticed it they slid into the water. Lucy could not row for fear of hitting someone's head."" With a whiff of Ardizzone and other English watercolorists: an ingratiating mix of ingenuousness and sophistication.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1984
Publisher: Atheneum