cover image On Gull Beach

On Gull Beach

Jane Yolen, illus. by Bob Marstall. CornellLab, $16.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-943645-18-3

In Yolen and Marstall’s third title in the On Bird Hill and Beyond series, a dark-haired child spots a red starfish in the sand at Gull Beach, just before a seagull snatches it. “I followed quickly on the strand,/ My feet left footprints in the sand./ The gull was faster, wing by wing,/ And in his mouth, his star plaything.” In a striking spread, the boy gazes, astonished, into the pale blue sky after the gull drops the starfish. A midair tussle ensues as the sea star is passed between bird beaks. When the sea star drops again, the boy catches it and helps to “put her back into the water,/ Far out of their reach.” It’s an exciting, slightly discomforting moment, which gently explores a human’s place within the chain of being. Backmatter presents common species to be found along New England shores. Ages 4–7. (May)