on August 7, 1998
From its inception in the 1940's, Seabird has offered children of all ages a rich blend of New World nautical history, from tall-masted ships to steamships, all woven into an adventure of global exploration by sea. Highly recommended.
To this day Seabird evokes sights and sounds of whaling days and early coal-powered ships. I smell the greased hemp lines and the rendered blubber, the sulphurous fumes of steamers, kelp, and the sea itself.
The early youth, perhaps reading alone or read to, becomes a lean young sailor, develops character, and passes into old age through four generations -- a most remarkable transition when one knows so little of aging or history. Holling was a master author, first of Paddle to the Sea, later of more land-based novels, each rich in full-page color images.
on September 29, 2000
I first read this book about thirty years ago, and would regularly re-visit it and other titles by this author, until I grew out of so called picture books. That I can still recall the pictures from Seabird, and the images that the cast in my mind testify to the quality of the writing. The journey from coastal whaling off Nantucket, to Greenland, the Pacific and the Yankee clippers that have forged their way into Legend, ending with one of the protaganists and his grandchild on a steamship in the 1920s will never leave me. Books like this should never die or be forgotten. You owe it to your children to make sure they read it.