See What a Seal Can Do

See What a Seal Can Do

Book Information

Candlewick August 2013
Science Curriculum

"The  seals on the bus go
'errp,  errp errp'
'errp,  errp errp'
'errp,  errp errp'
The  seals on the bus go
'errp,  errp errp'
All  around the town"
--  from THE SEALS ON THE BUS by Lenny Hort and G. Brian Karas (2000)
"A  big breath out and down he goes.  His body's just  the right shape to
shoot through the water: sleek, smooth, and pointed at both ends.  His back
flippers power him one hundred feet down in seconds.
"Seal  slips through the seaweed forest -- big eyes searching the gloom.
His  sharp ears hear dolphins whistle and a ferrryboat's engine chugging.
"Seal's  not the only hungry one down here: bigger things than him are
looking for their  supper.  His long whiskers are his feelers: they twitch as a
silent swirl  of water tells him there's a killer whale on the hunt for a
plump seal  meal.  With a flick and a twist of his flippers, he dives deeper.

"Two  hundred feet down, and it's colder, but Seal doesn't mind.  He has
two fur  coats that keep him waterproof, and a thick layer of fat under his
skin wraps  around him like a blanket.  Inside his blubber, Seal's as warm as
you and  me!
"Three  hundred feet down now, and his heart gets slower...and
slower...until it only  beats four times a minute."
There  is so much great information packed into the spare text of SEE WHAT
A  SEAL CAN DO -- both the narrative about the gray seal we follow here, and
the  accompanying fact blurbs (that are set in a smaller type).
I  don't know whether it is that seals just look like dogs to me, or
whether  having, as a young man, often watched my mom's flat-coated  retriever
swimming around in the Bay and seen a real resemblance  to seals, but I've
always had an affinity for the big-eyed seals I encounter  here basking along
the California coast.
SEE  WHAT A SEAL CAN DO begins and ends with beautiful endpapers that
feature  two-tone renderings of the eighteen different kinds of true seals.  (A
note opposite the title page provides a brief introduction and explains
"true"  seals.)  The story's mixed media illustrations draw you down through
the ocean deep, and the sweet face and expressive eyes of our main  character
really grab us.
"So  if you're down by the sea one day, you might spot a seal, lying around
like  a fat sunbather.  And you might think he's just a slow, dozy creature
 that spends his time lazing around...but you'd be wrong.  Seal can  dive
like a rocket and twist like a dancer -- he's a super-swimming underwater
Errp!   I really enjoyed this one.

32 pages  : 978-0-7636-6574-6   Ages 4-8

Recommended by Richie  Partington, MLIS, Librarian, California USA
Richie's Picks _http://richiespicks.com_ (

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