Seal Child is a book about a child who gets lost after a bad storm, and goes on a long journey, but manages to find a friend along the way.
This small child, the protagonist of the story, lives a peaceful life on an island. But one day, a storm hits, and their life is thrown into chaos. They are terrified of the storm and are all alone. That is until they find an unlikely friend, who is also lost and alone without their family… a baby seal. The child then manages to find an abandoned boat and goes to sea to get away from the storm. Together, the child and the seal make their way across open seas through all kinds of weather, and build an adorable friendship where they can keep each other warm.
This is really quite an emotional book, and it hooks you in straight away. It doesn’t fuss around with wasted back-story, and hops straight in – grabbing the reader’s attention immediately. I loved the main character’s strength and resilience. I also liked that it remained gender neutral. This book will also open up conversations with kids about natural disasters, and different kinds of survival. It is filled with ups and down, but manages to end with happiness.
The illustrations are beautiful and the page layouts are wonderful and really add to the story. They lend the story some light, as it is quite heavy at times. The watercolour style of the ocean with the mix of blues and greens is incredibly effective.
I really liked this story and it hooked my toddler with the drama and the cuteness of the seal. It is ultimately about holding onto hope, as well as remaining strong in difficult times. It is told with a lyrical style and flows well. Robert Vescio stories often revolve around nature and friendship, and I enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed his previous books Into The Wild and Under The Same Sky.
Title: Seal Child
Author: Robert Vescio
Illustrator: Anna Pignataro
Publisher: New Frontier Publishing
Published: 1st September 2021
Ages: 3 – 6