Review: Elisapee and Her Baby Seagull

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When Elisapee’s father brings home a baby seagull, Elisapee falls in love with the bird right away. She feeds and cares for her new friend, named Nau, and even helps Nau learn how to fly! Soon, it seems like Nau is ready to leave home for good, and Elisapee has to learn how to say goodbye. Based on the author’s childhood experience, this charming story about learning to care for animals will delight young readers.

As the old saying goes, if you love someone, let them go. This is the painful lesson that a little girl named Elisapee must learn when her father rescues a baby seagull. Elisapee loves her little seagull chick dearly, and raises her with care and dedication. She and her brother gather healthy food for Nau, and even teach her how to fly. But when Nau one day flies away, never to return, Elisapee must learn to say goodbye, and to cherish the memories of the time the two spent together.

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Elisapee and Her Baby Seagull is a beautiful story of love and loss, growth and change, friendship and farewell. With the help of her loving parents, Elisapee learns the importance of putting the needs of other first. Though she would love to keep Nau with her forever, Elisapee learns to respect Nau’s need to be free, and eventually comes to look back on their time together with love and happiness.

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Charlene Chua’s illustrations are sweet and charming, and the characters are filled with life. She beautifully recreates Elisapee’s northern home, with its snowy vistas and endless skies, filled with the dancing colours of the Northern Lights. Stories like Elisapee and Her Baby Seagull, which feature Inuit characters and communities in contemporary settings, allow young Inuit readers to see their own peers and neighborhoods represented in children’s books. They also allow young Canadians from other provinces to experience a vibrant part of our country that they might otherwise never be introduced to.

Charming, sweet, and beautifully illustrated, Elisapee and Her Seagull is a wonderful tale of learning to let go, and to find the joy in even the saddest of farewells. Definitely recommended.

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