September 19, 2011
Book Review: Stanley Seagull by Cathy Mazur
by Melissa Roach
For this particular book review, I received the eBook version online (which was a total of 32 illustrated pages). This children’s story follows a seagull named Stanley, who lives at the beach and loves to share his passion for eating. Later, his cousin shows him a secret place to get all the food that he could ever wish for, but warns him to fly away when everyone else does. Instead of questioning why, Stanley agrees to go with all of the seagulls to the big green trucks on the pier where they find food that would last for weeks on end. But when the seagulls fly away, Stanley doesn’t notice and his carefree attitude gets the better of him.
When he finally escapes the green garbage truck, he has no idea where he is…or how he will ever get back to the ocean, which he learns is over a 100 miles away. Stanley meets Walter (another seagull who lives the dump) who tries to convince Stanley that life isn’t so bad without the ocean, and he should just get used to his new surroundings. But, Stanley cannot live without his ocean and vows to find it again. Will Stanley ever return to his beloved beach or will he be doomed to live so far away from home?
The story itself was very cute, although a little “wordy” at times. I am not sure so much dialogue was needed throughout the book…and I thought the ending should have been extended to what Stanley learned from his journey away from home. I could see this book used in an elementary classroom, for the purpose of learning the following: not to be greedy, listening to directions, being aware of your surroundings at all times, and to be thankful for what you have.
The illustrations were well drawn and did a good job accompanying the the storyline. Stanley is a very likable character, who many children will love to read about! I would recommend this book to ages elementary level and up.
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