Quality nonfiction texts appropriate for grade one are needed, and this book meets that need. It is one in the "Baby Animal" series and serves as a photo essay of Sidney, a harbor seal pup. Text and photos portray Sidney's care in a sea mammal center following rescue from the harbor seal rookery. Sidney's mother has not returned after three days so the Seal Watch patrol nurses Sidney back to health. The text is simple and, thankfully, no anthropomorphism is evident. Sidney is given mother seal's milk at three weeks and is coaxed to eat fish. At five weeks old she is ready to be on her own in the ocean. Excellent photos tell the story; photo captions are the book's text. Although there is no table of contents, there are three chapters, in keeping with an early chapter book. An afterword offers "More about Harbor Seals," "Rescuing Orphaned Harbor Seal Pups" and a timeline of the events in Sidney's life from birth to ocean release. The flipper prints featured on all pages throughout the book lend a nice touch. 2002, Carolrhoda Books, $21.27 and $6.95. Ages 5 to 7. Reviewer: Jacki Vawter
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-These books follow three animals that live on nature preserves from birth to independence. Each page includes a few sentences of large-print type about the featured animal's life and development and a full-color photo. Puck, a Caribbean flamingo living at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL, has parents that take turns watching over him until he is about seven months of age. Sidney, an orphaned harbor seal, is rescued by Seal Watch at about three weeks of age, and finds a new home at a sea-mammal center until she is ready to be returned to the wild. Finally, Kipper begins life in his mother's pouch not much bigger than a kidney bean. During the next 13 months, he learns to hop, climbing in and out of his mother's pouch, and napping in the hot sun at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia. Students writing reports may need to supplement these selections with other titles, as there is not a lot of detail concerning habits and habitats. Overall, though, the books are attractive and will enhance science collections.-Roxanne Burg, Thousand Oaks Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.