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Children's LiteratureHenry and Pell, two hamsters, find a seagull feather on the beach. Fearing that the gull who lost it may need it to fly, they set out bravely through the sand and over rocks to return it. On their way they meet a hermit crab. The feather then blows into a tide pool, where they take the rather bedraggled feather from a fiddler crab and proceed to break it by mistake. When the intimidatingly large seagull appears, they apologize, but he reassures them that he does not need it and thanks them for their kind efforts. He gives them some hamster-size feathers to use so they can play at flying; then it is time to go home. The simple tale of two friends' adventurous romp and discoveries ends with a challenge to find eight shells that are hidden in the illustrations. Walsh's cut-paper collages combine a concern for natural history with a strong sense of design. The hamsters are brimming with engaging personality as they go about their search in this innocent story told with visual charm. 2005, Harcourt, Ages 3 to 7.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz