________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 13. . . .December 2, 2016


A Harbour Seal in Halifax.

Doretta Groenendyk.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2016.
32 pp., hardcover & pdf, $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77108-414-7 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-77108-415-4 (pdf).

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Chloe Humphreys.

*** ˝ /4



It was night.
Seal was lost.
She saw strange flippers, or were they feet?
She heard a strange bird, or was it a scream?
Seal went for a stroll.


A Harbour Seal in Halifax tells the charming true story of a young seal who decides to take a stroll through the waterfront streets of Halifax, NS. The night is dark, the streets are quiet, and the snow sparkles as the lost seal travels slowly through the city. This odd sight does not go unnoticed, and Officer and Constable from the Halifax Regional Police are notified. Carefully, they search the streets for the little furry creature and come face-to-face with the scared seal. Together, Officer and Constable gently wrap the seal in a blanket and transport her back to the ocean.

      With great empathy, Doretta Groenendyk dives into adapting this true story of kindness and cooperation for young audiences. Visually, the book is rendered using a soft palette of dark colours that effortlessly capture the atmosphere of a crisp, snowy night. Groenendyk’s narrative devotes equal time to both the perspective of the lost seal and the perspectives of Officer and Constable. This important balance makes for a vibrant story, allowing young readers to fully immerse themselves in the adventure and truly understand how each character is feeling. In support of the story’s multiple perspectives, the text is written in simple yet evocative language that emphasizes the senses. The seal sees, hears, and feels many different things as she travels through Halifax. In this way, Groenendyk takes what was just a news item and brings it to life in an intimate way that will make audiences appreciate the story in a whole new light.

      A Harbour Seal in Halifax is a recommended addition to any Canadian classroom or library collection.

Highly Recommended.

Chloe Humphreys is a newly minted librarian with a passion for children’s literature and reading. She works at Vancouver Public Library and lives in beautiful North Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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