Stella and the Seagull

Stella and the Seagull
Georgina Stevens and Izzy Burton
Oxford Children’s Books

Young Stella (5¾) lives with her Granny Maggie in a flat beside the sea where a little seagull visits them frequently, often bringing a small gift. Lately though, rather than such things as shells and pebbles all her gifts are plastic rubbish of one kind or another, including a wrapper from Stella’s favourite chocolate bar.

Then one day, the little seagull fails to visit and concerned about her absence, Stella and her Gran go down to the beach and look for her. What they see is troubling: the poor bird looks sick.

Off they go to the vets right away where the vet takes an x-ray of the seagull and tells Stella that the bird has consumed a lot of plastic and shows her the alarming picture.

Leaving the seagull in the care of the vet, Stella realises that the beach must be where the bird found the plastic and so she and her Granny start picking up the litter, soon admitting that there’s far too much for them alone to collect. Then a poster gives Stella a great idea – “a Beach Clean Party” and as soon as they get home they set to work poster making. Before long, notices about the beach clean are all over the town.

Back home Stella spots the address of the chocolate company on a wrapper and decides to write to them, mentioning what has happened to the seagull and inviting them to the beach clean up party.

When she and her Gran go to post the letter it’s evident that lots of other people are also concerned about the seagull and many of the shops have stopped selling plastic items. But will they join the beach clean up and what about the Delicious Chocolate Company?

Let’s just say that one small passionate girl has galvanised not only her community but a manufacturing company to take action and make a BIG difference.

Written by sustainability advisor and campaigner, Georgina Stevens and wonderfully illustrated by Izzy Burton whose use of vignettes, single, and double page spreads make readers feel fully immersed in the story, this is a lovely demonstration of community power in action that will surely inspire young listeners to get involved in making change happen, especially with regard to single use plastic.

Definitely one to add to family bookshelves and classroom collections.

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