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Review: Mister Cleghorn’s Seal

October 14, 2016



When Mister Cleghorn goes to visit his brother’s family, he and his nephew go every day to watch a seal pup with its mother.  After a few days, they notice the mother is missing and the pup looks thin and hungry.  They decide to watch for a little while and when they realize the mother must be dead Mister Cleghorn’s brother and nephew think the best thing to do is to put the pup “out of its misery.”

Mister Cleghorn can’t abide by that and impulsively offers to take the pup, which he names Charlie, and find it a home in a zoo.  Against the odds, he gets the pup home but then can’t find a zoo equipped to take it in.  He and his neighbor, Miss Craig, come up with a solution that works out for everyone.

MISTER CLEGHORN’S SEAL by Judith Kerr is a sweet story based on an experience the author’s own father had.  Mister Cleghorn is a kind man who wants to do right by a baby seal who’s lost its mother.  Without thinking, he says he’ll take the pup home and give it a zoo.  Things don’t work out exactly the way he planned but they do work out well in the end.

I think young readers will delight in Mister Cleghorn and his seal and want to own one of their own after they read this darling story.  More sensitive children might be bothered by the loss of Charlie’s mother and some of the Britishisms might be new to young readers.  The sweet illustrations are a wonderful addition to the story and the author includes an Afterword about her own father’s experience with a seal.  (It didn’t have as nice an ending as the book.)  MISTER CLEGHORN’S SEAL is Judith Kerr’s first children’s book in 37 years and it was well worth the wait.

Ikid konnection new will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

 My friend Julie sent me this book.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2016 6:48 am

    Yes, yes, I want a baby seal of my own too! :–)

  2. bookingmama permalink
    October 14, 2016 7:12 am

    I thought this book was delightful!

  3. October 14, 2016 7:12 am

    Looks like a sweet story. The cover seems like it could have been published back in my childhood.

  4. October 14, 2016 10:25 am

    I’m just really impressed that the author went 37 years between children’s books! That is very cool.

  5. Literary Feline permalink
    October 14, 2016 2:04 pm

    This sounds wonderful. I bet Mouse would enjoy it.

  6. October 14, 2016 2:18 pm

    Awww, this sounds like a really cute story.

  7. October 14, 2016 3:53 pm

    This sounds so cute but also sad in many ways. I don’t want to know the real life ending if it wasn’t very happy. 😦

  8. October 14, 2016 5:28 pm

    Kathy, this does sound like a sweet read! 🙂

  9. October 15, 2016 12:14 am

    This does sound so sweet. I’m glad the author gave this story a happy ending- sounds like it was worth the 37 year wait!

  10. October 17, 2016 12:28 am

    This sounds absolutely adorable! I might have to get this for my niece. 🙂

  11. Diane permalink
    October 17, 2016 7:06 am

    Aww, this seems so sweet.

  12. October 17, 2016 12:47 pm

    Wow, what a cute story

  13. October 26, 2016 10:29 am

    What a crazy trueish story. A good one to teach kids about thinking outside the box and doing what’s right. Not that this would fly in our house 🙂

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