Review Blog

Feb 22 2011

Samantha Seagull's sandals by Gordon Winch

cover image

Ill. by Tony Oliver. New Frontier Publishing, 2010. ISBN 978 19210425091.
(Ages 4+) Recommended. First published in 1985, and republished most years since then, this new edition will be a treat for teachers and librarians now able to replace the tattered old copies in their schools. A marvelous book to use when talking to children about competition, difference, fashion, growing up and friendship, this story of Samantha has resonance with all children.
Samantha desperately wants to be different, and so buys shoes to wear on the beach. But each pair of shoes she buys causes problems for her going about her everyday activities, and so she must exchange them. The high heels sink in the sand, the rubber boots fill with water, the slipper's pompoms get soaked and lose their oomph. Each time, her legs and face become redder with shame and embarrassment, but all the while, her best friend, Simon comes to her rescue.
The repetitive nature of the lines will encourage younger readers as they predict what the other seagulls will say and the humour of the situation will cause much laughter amongst all who read the book. The resolution is a neat resolve to the situation, informing the readers of the difference between younger and older silver gulls. A delightful book, with luminous shimmering illustrations, redolent of a day at the beach, this story will have wide appeal.
Fran Knight

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