One Seal

One Seal

by John Stadler
     
 

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When a sudden gust of wind snatches the kite from his hands, a little boy follows it down to the beach. That is one boy, one seal, and one kite - far out of reach.

Then, one by one, other animals arrive on the scene. The seal joins forces with an alligator, a polar bear, and a swordfish - along with other members of a remarkably acrobatic animal crew. What are

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Overview

When a sudden gust of wind snatches the kite from his hands, a little boy follows it down to the beach. That is one boy, one seal, and one kite - far out of reach.

Then, one by one, other animals arrive on the scene. The seal joins forces with an alligator, a polar bear, and a swordfish - along with other members of a remarkably acrobatic animal crew. What are they doing? And why are they doing it? As fresh and welcome as an ocean breeze, this witty book is a surprising and delightful salute to teamwork.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A boy's wayward kite occasions, unfortunately, an equally wayward tale. As the child's red kite heads out to sea, he runs after it and encounters a seal on the beach. To the rescue comes a hodgepodge of creatures, including a monkey, polar bear and tiger: "One.../ ...by one.../ ...they came." The group begins a pyramid of sorts, all balanced on the seal's nose. The stalwart seal never buckles under the strain of, ultimately, more than 20 animals, among them a whale, elephant and Tyrannosaurus rex. In the climactic spread, the crab at the top of the orderly animal mountain nabs the kite string; not until photos are taken and the crowd disperses, however, does the seal return the kite to the boy. Sometimes readers get a glimpse of the next animal to join the crowd, most times they do not--and readers are left to wonder what is supposed to hatch from a giant egg that begins to crack in the series of pictures. As in Stadler's earlier picture books (Hooray for Snail!; Three Cheers for Hippo!), the creatures here are amiable and companionable, and a minimal use of words for the majority of the book would seem to make this a good selection for those who can't yet read on their own. In one pivotal spread, though, the storytelling doesn't depend on the pictures, but rather relies purely on text ("Photographs were taken. Names, addresses, and phone numbers were exchanged. All agreed that they must get together soon and do it again")--and children may need an adult to explain the humor. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
This is a story of very few words which depends upon engaging the imagination of the reader. A child is flying a kite at the beach. As he runs through the dunes, a gust of wind takes the kite from his hands. When he runs after it, he is met by a surprise at the water's edge. A seal. The seal is then joined by other creatures, many of them foreign to the sea, and they form an intricate pyramid. Afterward, they take photographs, exchange phone numbers and agree to meet again. Then, one by one, they leave as mysteriously as they appeared. The boy retrieves his kite, only to lose it again and watch as it flies away over the ocean. The simple illustrations are full of humor and the reader whose imagination soars as high as the red kite will enjoy the antics and the acrobatics of the animals. A paean to cooperation.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-K As One Seal begins, a child runs through coastal dunes flying a kite. Alas! The wind snatches it away, although it hangs above the beach well within sight. The eponymous one seal magically appears on the beach, followed, one by one, by several other animals a whimsical who's who of recognizable mammals, reptiles, and creatures of the sea and they make themselves into a sculpture tall enough for the crab at the very top to reach the kite string and retrieve it for the child. Stadler brings the text to a halt in the pages where the animals concentrate on their goal. Trouble is, the kite is literally out of the picture as they gather and work together, so their goal is unclear. The return of the kite to the child is so removed from its retrieval from the sky that the story doesn't make sense. And that's too bad, because the watercolor illustrations of the beach create a lovely sense of an expanse of sand topped by an expanse of sky, the perfect stage for animal acrobatics. Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Chasing after his kite, which has been liberated by the wind, a small boy spies a solitary seal, the first in an extraordinary assortment of animals. Across the continents and in from the sea, the menagerie of beasts are widely diverse, ranging from the tiniest snail to the largest whale, with a dinosaur and a peacock among them. These animals then begin a series of awe-inspiring balancing acts, building a towering, living pyramid as they strive to reach the boy's kite. Through several wordless pages, onlookers can explore the fanciful world of Stadler's imagination as he arranges the creatures in a capricious combination of poses. A surprising last twist reveals the lone boy once again scurrying after his fleeing kite and leaves ample room for speculation as to what glorious event will occur next. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780531301951
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/1999
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.39(w) x 11.37(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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