Gustave's Adventures Vol 1

Just a Seal

Children - Adventure
40 Pages
Reviewed on 11/09/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Gustave's Adventures, Vol 1: Just a Seal is a children’s animal adventure picture book written by Felicia Sanders and illustrated by Ayan Saha and Tetiana Tsitsiura. When Phil the Puffin glided down to the rocks where Gustave and his friends were sitting, he had the most incredible story to share with them. Phil had been to Hawaii -- and he loved it! Gustave marveled at the thought of Hawaii and wanted to see those tropical islands for himself. When he got home later that afternoon, he excitedly shared Phil’s adventures with his mom and dad. Gustave asked them if they could go to Hawaii as well. Mama and Dad told Gustave that Hawaii was very far away and across the deepest oceans. They were just seals, after all, and a seal couldn’t make a journey like that. Gustave went to bed in tears that night. After the excitement and promise of a trip to Hawaii, learning that he could never do it made the little seal so unhappy. His parents felt so badly about Gustave’s disappointment so they decided to take a trip to Kruzof Island the next day. The water there was rough, and the waves tumbled Gustave about when he tried to swim, but then he met someone who had a message which would change his entire outlook on life -- even if he was just a seal.

Felicia Sanders’s Gustave's Adventures, Vol 1: Just a Seal is a textbook example of what a good kids’ book should be. Sanders' story is marvelous, and its message is inspirational and filled with promise, enhanced with artwork as impressive as her message. Each panel is filled with delights to study and immerse yourself in. The reader experiences the mountain ranges of Alaska as well as Gustave’s beloved Hawaiian beaches. Young readers and caregivers alike will find something immeasurably uplifting about this picture book. In her appendix, Sanders provides a link for an interactive workbook based on the story, a workbook filled with Seal Fun Facts, and a third link gives readers the story of Tina the Fab-crab who awakens in Gustave the knowledge that he can indeed realize his dreams. She also includes a section entitled Tina’s Inspiration Corner filled with surprising facts about famous people. Reading Just a Seal had me sitting here smiling and feeling quite good about myself and the world at large, and I’m still feeling that way. Just a Seal is most highly recommended.