Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 180

Picture Book: Leopard & Silkie: One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups

Author: Brenda Patterson

Photographer: Robin Lindsay

Summary: At the beginning of this book, Leopard is born on the shore of Puget Sound. Miles, a young boy, has been trained to protect this seal pup and others by educating their biggest threat, humans. This is especially needed when a seal pup sleeps alone on the shore for as long as 8 hours. Human curiosity and the dogs they might bring with them are a particular threat. Miles and his family build a floating platform to allow the pups to nap in safety. The pups adapt quickly and many use the platform. Later in the story, Leopard's mother doesn’t return so that he will learn to fish on his own. He grows lean, but thanks to the arrival of an older female seal, Silkie, Leopard improves his fishing and gets fat again.

Hanna’s Comments: This picture book has 2 parallel stories, Miles’ intervention and the seal pups’ story, as well as beautiful, instructive photographs. Other children who have been trained to protect the seal pups are photographed as well. I especially appreciated the photographs of the humans taken from what might be Leopard’s perspective, depicting the threat that well-meaning humans might have on such a vulnerable animal. Before reading this to your audience, be sure to check out the extensive Author’s Note in the back. There is also a bibliography.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Henry Holt & Co., 2012

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet, There is a 23 minute long video on of the author doing a presentation at a library giving more details of this story.

PBT Category: Nonfiction, Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with:adaptation/assimilation, animals, attentiveness/observation/seeing, call/calling/vocation, care/tending, commitment, community, cooperation, creativity/imagination/ingenuity, the environment/nature, generosity/giving/offering/stewardship, gifts/talents, goodness, helping, image of God, kindness, labor/work, mission, outreach, pacifism/peace/peacemakers, perspective, safety, safe place/sanctuary, saving/savior, servant/service/serving

Scripture Connections: God created the great sea creatures (Genesis 1:21); who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth? (Job 35:11); the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same, as one dies so dies the other (Ecclesiastes 3:18-19)

Idea(s) for Application: Use this book in a homeschool or private school setting where you can freely talk about God’s creation of all species and our role as caretakers, in partnership with God.

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