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Seal Surfer

Overview

Ben, a young disabled boy, loves the ocean. One afternoon, when he witnesses the birth of a seal, the boy’s bond with the sea grows even deeper. Season after season, Ben watches the young pup do many of the same things he loves to do: swim, fish, bask in the sun—and surf! Ben and the seal glide with the swells, watching for good waves together. But danger looms, and soon Ben will have to rely on his ocean friend not only for companionship but ...

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Overview

Ben, a young disabled boy, loves the ocean. One afternoon, when he witnesses the birth of a seal, the boy’s bond with the sea grows even deeper. Season after season, Ben watches the young pup do many of the same things he loves to do: swim, fish, bask in the sun—and surf! Ben and the seal glide with the swells, watching for good waves together. But danger looms, and soon Ben will have to rely on his ocean friend not only for companionship but for his very survival.

Although he is on crutches, a boy goes to the beach with his grandfather, where they watch a seal being born, and over the following seasons, the boy and the seal develop a special bond.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Foreman's (The Little Ships, reviewed below) calm, inconspicuous prose follows a boy and a seal through three years of seasonal changes. It begins one springtime, when Ben, hunting for mussels with his granddad, spots a newborn seal nuzzling her mother on the rocks. By the second summer, Ben is riding the waves alongside his whiskered friend. And when the third spring "brought Ben but not his grandfather," the boy is consoled by the appearance of the seal's own pup. Eventually, he imagines the day when he will bring his own grandchildren to watch the seals. The watercolor illustrations, while depicting the sea's changing moods, also reveal something the text does not mention: the boy leans on crutches or rides in a wheelchair. Foreman fills the narrative with dramatic episodes-the seal saves the boy from drowning; harsh winter storms imperil all the seals-but he keeps the tension loose, the momentum steady, thereby emphasizing the preeminence of the life cycles that shape his story.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4A special bond develops between a boy and a seal pup through the years. From storm-tossed winter waves to quiet harbor nights, dramatic watercolors capture the changing moods of the sea. March 1997
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4--A special bond develops between a boy and a seal pup through the years. From storm-tossed winter waves to quiet harbor nights, dramatic watercolors capture the changing moods of the sea. (March)
From the Publisher

"From storm-tossed winter waves to quiet harbor nights, dramatic watercolors capture the changing moods of the sea."  —School Library Journal

"At last, an imaginative story by a prominant artist that, with no patronizing assumptions, just includes a disabled boy."  —Disability Equality in Education and the Media

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152013998
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/1997
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 36
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.74 (w) x 9.88 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL FOREMAN is one of the world's leading illustrators of children's books and the winner of several major awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal. His work ranges from picture books to fairy tales and original children's fiction. He is the illustrator of many Harcourt books, including Michael Foreman's Mother Goose, Joan of Arc, and Arthur, High King of Britain. He divides his time between London and St. Ives, England, his childhood home.

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