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The Seagull and the Sea Captain

Illustrated by Amy Schimler-Safford

About The Book

From New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award Nominee Sy Montgomery comes the sweet, brightly illustrated true story of a seagull and a sea captain who became friends over the course of four summers.

In a quiet harbor in New England, a sea captain named Ellis is visited by a seagull that lands on the back of his family’s passenger schooner one afternoon. Ellis feeds the seagull, and by the end of the week, it was eating crackers right out of his hand! Their friendship lasted the summer, and four years later, the wild seagull Polly still visits. This nonfiction story about an unlikely friendship is sure to charm young readers.

About The Author

Tianne Strombeck

Sy Montgomery is a naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and author of thirty-one acclaimed books of nonfiction for adults and children, including The Hummingbirds’ Gift, the National Book Award finalist The Soul of an Octopus, and the memoir The Good Good Pig, which was a New York Times bestseller. The recipient of numerous honors, including lifetime achievement awards from the Humane Society and the New England Booksellers Association, she lives in New Hampshire with her husband, writer Howard Mansfield, and a border collie.

About The Illustrator

Photo courtesy of the illustrator

Amy Schimler-Safford started her career in textile and surface design. She now illustrates children’s books and lives on a lake in Georgia with her family and lots of country critters, all of whom provide Amy with a constant source of amusement and inspiration.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (March 1, 2022)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534482258
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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Raves and Reviews

One day in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a sea captain guided his schooner out of the harbor. His passengers wanted to see the sights: mansions, buoys, lighthouses, and whales. Seagulls flew into the air, also taking in the sights: people eating, fishermen hauling in their nets, and the beautiful schooner. Suddenly, a gull with five toes (one was missing) landed behind the captain, who tossed him an oyster cracker. Afterwards, the gull returned daily to visit the captain and share a snack. That autumn, the bird flew south, but in spring, he returned and joined the captain on his daily voyages. Weather permitting, he still does. Montgomery, author of the Sibert Award–winning Kakapo Rescue (2010) offers a well-structured narrative underscoring the link between people and animals through the similarity of their activities and the repeated line, “Everything’s more fun with a friend.” Illustrated using watercolors, oil paints, oil pastels, collage, and digital elements, the handsome double-page spreads capture the beauty of the sea setting. This pleasing picture book tells the story of a bird who befriended a man.

— Carolyn Phelan

– Booklist, 2/15/22

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More books from this author: Sy Montgomery

More books from this illustrator: Amy Schimler-Safford