Review Blog

Jan 28 2011

Samantha Seagull's sandals by Gordon Winch

cover image

Ill. by Tony Oliver. 25th anniversary edition. New Frontier, 2010. ISBN 9781921042591.
(Age: 3-6) Recommended. Samantha Seagull longed to be different. Even though wise old Hector the Hermit Crab assured her that she would be different one day, she decided she couldn't wait. She thought that wearing a pair of high-heeled shoes would make her different, but she sank into the sand and got stuck. Her friend Simon had to help her out. When all the other gulls laughed at her she started to blush and 'her bill went red, the rings around her eyes went red, her legs and feet went red.' Each pair of shoes that she tried turned out to be a problem and finally she had to accept herself as she was.
This wonderful story about silver gulls has been in print for 25 years and rightly so. Both the story and the illustrations are excellent. Children will relate to the humour in the problems of Samantha and her many pairs of shoes, but also will identify with Samantha's need to be different.
Tony Oliver's beautiful illustrations, using watercolour with black outlines, add depth to the humour and interest of the book. The detailed drawings of the seaside, shells, sand and sea are beautiful.
Information about silver gulls and the fact that their beaks, legs and eye rings turn from green to red when they reach puberty is contained at the back of the book. It is sure to have children, who live near the sea, watching seagulls to see if they can spot one with red legs.
Pat Pledger

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