Seal Song: Book Review

Hi Everyone!  Today was my first day of spring break so one of the things I did was go to Bolen Books (my favourite Victoria book store) and buy two new books for my class.

Today’s feature is:

Seal Song: Book Review. Plus related activities.

I think Andrea Spalding is an amazing author. Last year I featured her book Me and Mr. Mah.

Andrea is a grandma, like me, and lives nearby on Pender Island. Pender is a tiny little Gulf Island just northeast of where I live, on the southern most tip of Vancouver Island.

On to the story!

Title: Seal Song
Author & Illustrator: Andrea Spalding and Pascal Milelli
Publishing: Orca Book Publishers, 2011
Intended Audience: 3 to 11
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Themes: Friendship, Magic, Seals

Opening Lines:

Work done, the boy hid on the cannery wharf. “Finn, Finn,” his father called. Finn crouched behind a barrel. He had fished with his father since early morning. Now he wanted to swim with the seals.

Summary (from the book jacket):

Finn loves to swim with the seals in a secret cove. One day he rescues a young seal tangled in netting. Finn wishes the seal could live on land. When Sheila, a mysterious girl no one has ever seen before, appears on the cannery docks, the fisher folk are uneasy. They believe the newcomer is a magical selkie, a shape changer.

Why I Like This Book:

I’ve lived on an island on the West coast of Canada for 53 of my 56 years so the ocean is a huge part of my life. To leave the island you either have to fly or take the ferry. We don’t have a bridge to the mainland, which I’m personally happy about.

One of the ocean creatures we see all the time are harbour seals. These guys have to be one of the cutest looking mammals on earth.


Andrea combines my love for the ocean and all her creatures, with a satisfying and heart-warming tale of friendship, loyalty and self-sacrifice. There is so much to look at and discuss in this book: Fishing, canneries, the ocean, Celtic lore, selkies, and the themes I just mentioned. And Pascal’s oil paintings are absolutely gorgeous!


1. The Vancouver Aquarium is a great site to check out.

2. Make an underwater scene using bleeding tissue paper.

I would just use variations of blue and green tissue. When the paper is dry, use black sharpies to draw an underwater scene. Note: The images could be drawn first with pencil and then traced with a sharpie before applying the bleeding tissue colours.

3. Book Chat: Don’t forget to have a discussion about friendship and what it means.

Have a great evening. I’m off to the pub with friends for dinner and a glass of wine!


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