cover image Prince William (Hc)

Prince William (Hc)

Gloria Rand. Henry Holt & Company, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1841-7

The tragic effects of the Valdez oil spill on the creatures that inhabit Prince William Sound are embodied in one girl's efforts to save a baby seal drenched in oil. Denny and her mother take the pup, which she names Prince William, to the makeshift rescue center set up in the gym of a nearby school. A corps of volunteers revives the animal, but the veterinarian informs Denny that most are not so lucky: ``I've seen it happen before--bears and their cubs, wolverines and eagles. You name it, they're all being poisoned by the spill.'' Gloria Rand's (the Salty Dog books) descriptive text escapes heavy moralizing by focusing on the seal's progress and on the community's intensive volunteer activities. Though she avoids any mention of this event's political ramifications, a powerful message is adroitly conveyed without laying blame. Ted Rand ( Night Tree ; Barn Dance! ) paints a title character to melt the hearts of all; the oversize images in his vibrant paintings capture, as always, the sweep of the outdoors and the humanity of the spirit. Ages 6-8. (Apr.)