Last time I posted about books that were not getting enough love at the library, I featured cats. This time: a seal. There’s something about animal books, I guess. There are a lot of them, and maybe a few lovely little stories get overlooked. Well, here’s a delightful animal story to share with young readers.
Mister Cleghorn’s Seal has an old-fashioned look to it. Maybe that’s why it has been sitting on the library shelf for so long with no check outs. But I might point out that sometimes a good old-fashioned story is just right.
The story begins with Mr. Cleghorn’s first day of retirement, which is an unusual way for a children’s book to begin. He’s lonely and he doesn’t know what to do with himself without his work, so he decides to take a vacation to a seaside town. That’s where the seal comes in. The young seal is on his own as well, and Mr. Cleghorn decides to take it home and bring it to the zoo in the city. I love the line after he declares his intentions:
“He was as surprised as everyone else after he had said it, but when he examined the words he decided that he meant them.”
Of course, it’s not easy to care for a wild animal and all sorts of comical problems arise with a happy ending for everyone. It’s a sweet story that would make a great read aloud for a family with kids of multiple ages. At less than 100 pages long, it won’t even take very long to read.