SEAL HARBOR: The Life Story of the Harbor Seal by John F. Waters

SEAL HARBOR: The Life Story of the Harbor Seal

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In picture book format but with a text too long and too uninflected to hold preschoolers' attention, this is mostly one of those natural history lessons which follows one particular animal from his parents' mating on through life, but it gradually changes into more of a story when the seal is shot and a boy nurses it and becomes its friend. The minimal plot however is unquestionably subordinate to the information, which is unexceptionally set forth but more extensive than the book's appearance would indicate. Quackenbush alternates soft gray and white wash and crayon drawings with smudgy pages bathed in moody colors -- too often with blue or violet backgrounds which not only extend the quietness of the text but also make it a physical nuisance to read. Whether to classify this as fiction, nonfiction or a picture book is another problem, as is the age of likely readers, but there will be those who quite validly will prefer Waters' muted, individualized observations to other more businesslike surveys of the whole seal family.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1973
Publisher: Frederick Warne