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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
There’s nothing quite like the beach on a warm summer’s day. Lots of sun, sand, and fun. Mickey is quite content to wiggle his toes in the sand as he carries his boogie board under one arm and a large chocolate pretzel in the opposite hand. It’s the chocolate pretzel that captures Sandy Gull’s attention – that and the sand that Mickey accidentally sprays in the bird’s face. For Sandy Gull, it’s all about food and, forgiving Mickey, he makes friends with the boy and convinces him to share his pretzel, the special treat made by his Gram. The pretzel shared and devoured, the new friends play in the water until Sandy Gull sets his sights on another treat – a bag of chips. The owner is asleep, so Sandy Gull takes matters into his own beak (instead of hands) and tries to steal the bag. Stealing is not good and Mickey doesn’t want to be friends with someone who steals.
Mary J. Staller’s colorful picture book story, Meet Sandy Gull, is delightful, a real treat. While enjoying Mickey’s adventures on the beach, young readers also learn about caring for others, apologizing when doing something thoughtless, and sharing. They also learn that stealing is not acceptable. One must be patient and ask, not barge in and steal. The story moves along in rhyming (and not so rhyming) verse with a new joy and a new lesson on each page. The illustrations complement the story beautifully. This is a valuable and entertaining learning tool for young readers. Well done!