September 6, 2011
Stanley Seagull by Cathy Mazur
Stanley lives at the beach. Flying over the ocean, smelling the salty air and living the high life.
Stanley loves the beach. He loves the people who frequent the shorelines and piers. They often have delicious food and they are known to drop it or throw it away. Popcorn, small fish and grubs and the trash left over from restaurants is a seagull's culinary delight.
One day Stanley's cousin, Seymour, let's Stanley in on a secret and takes him to the garbage truck loading sight. He warns Stanley that when he shouts it's time to go, then Stanley had better not ask any questions and do as he is told.
However, Stanley is absolutely delighted to have such a fine feast laid before him that he fails to hear the call and has been caught inside the garbage truck. When he finally escapes, he has no idea where he is nor how he will ever get back to the ocean, which he learns is over a 100 miles away.
Stanley meets Walter who tries to convince Stanley that life isn't so bad where is now is and maybe he should get used to it. 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?
I thought the story was kind of cute. Stanley's greed got the better of him and he ended up in a sticky situation and has to use his wits to solve his dilemma. The books is 32 pages long in eBook format and many of the pages don't have words upon their pages, making this an easy read for young children to listen and follow along with.
The illustrations were done in a paint washed look. The definition of the characters isn't as sharp as they could have been; given them an almost super-imposed look. I wasn't as impressed with the artwork as with the story. There isn't much in appeal to the colours being used nor the overall effect. Some of the back ground pictures are amateurish in their rendering.
Stanley is a likeable seagull. He leads a carefree life and his only real concern is with food. I liked how he didn't give up when the odds were against him. As far as morals to stories go, I'm positive Stanley's adventure will help him curb his greedy appetite and make sure he pays attention to his surroundings at all times.