cover image Sealed with a Kiss

Sealed with a Kiss

Beth Ferry, illus. by Olivier Tallec. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-247577-0

A French seal arrives at a new zoo, expecting friendship from her fellow zoo residents. But “no one came to meet her, to greet her, to shower her with kisses.” After a sparrow kisses Seal to her delight, Seal goes right up to Rhino, Panda, Kangaroo, Kookaburra, and Caribou, kissing and cuddling them. “We’ve been slobbered!” Kangaroo says. Seal, it seems, smells like sardines. When Seal realizes she is unwanted, she retreats—and the other animals make amends with a kind missive: “We sealed this with a lick/ ‘Cause our kisses wouldn’t stick.” Bright, charming illustrations by Tallec integrate laugh-out-loud slapstick humor into a story about fitting in, but Seal’s phony French accent falls flat, and the idea that “besmooched” animals should apologize for reacting negatively to unwanted touches is dubious. Ages 4–8. [em](Jan.) [/em]