September 12, 2011
by Paul S.
Tribute Books has asked me to review another offering of theirs, and this time it is a children’s story involving “Stanley Seagull.”
“Meet a young seagull named Stanley. Follow him as he wanders far from home and tries to find his way back. Join Stanley on his journey as he learns how humans affect the balance of nature.” (From the publisher’s book summary.)
Stanley lives by the beach along the Atlantic Ocean. He loves living by the beach, flying around with his gull friends and eating seafood all day long. Stanley and company display an unhealthy appetite for the human food that people toss at them, not to mention the weekly feast at the garbage trucks parked on the pier that contains tons of food scraps.
This is a wide-eyed feast that Stanley and his friends just live for!
However, there is a warning: do not stay too long or there will be problems! But Stanley is too busy feasting to pay attention to this and gets trapped in the garbage truck and winds up in a landfill hundreds of miles from his beach home.
I won’t spoil the plot but Stanley learns a couple of important lessons, especially one that factors into the purpose of this blog.
One: the point of the book was how humans affect the balance of nature. I’m assuming the gulls’ overt dependence on human garbage for their nutritional sustenance illustrates this. The authors quite subtly weave this into the tale by juxtaposing the gull’s idyllic life with the images of a garbage feast, leading to Stanley’s journey.
Two: said journey leads to how the book ties in with this blog’s purpose (an addiction and recovery moral tale was more than likely not the author’s intention).
Stanley is “addicted” to human food. The garbage truck and all the food scraps represent the ultimate for him: all the free food he can eat, seemingly forever. He ignores his friends’ warnings and gets lost, far from home.
His attempts to return home represent a type of recovery, with failed attempts, wisdom and advice gained, and a journey based on a plan.
Nice story! A good way to introduce children to the importance of respecting nature, along with a subtle hint at paying attention to advice about seemingly “good stuff.”
Stanley Seagull’s website (With info on how to to buy it)