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by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the...

June 4, 2023

The Gullfather: Birdsy Seagull: Vol 1. A Seahawk Situation by Jeff Sikaitis and Jake Wheeler ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I usually leave graphic novels and children's books to MK as she enjoys graphic novels and has kids. I've read a couple of graphic novels and illustrated books so I thought I would give The Gullfather a try as it is good to try different things occasionally. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of children's graphic novel The Gullfather vol 1 by Jeff Sikaitis and Jake Wheeler
June 2023; Books Fluent; 978-1953865250
ebook, print (98 pages); graphic novel

Target audience:
Early readers (1st or 2nd grade) to probably middle grades.

Plot: Birdsy Seagull runs Shoretown. He takes care of the seagulls that live in this coastal town - that might be buying mackerel for the single bird with a brood of nestlings or keeping in line the young male gulls that are bent on making trouble. When a restaurant installs a wooden hawk to scare away the gulls it is up to Birdsy and his crew to make the boardwalk safe once more for all gulls.

Characters: The story is narrated by Anselmo Rossi aka Sweet Beak who is on the outs with Birdsy as he's been fingered as a snitch. He says he doesn't talk, but he sure does love telling a story! Birdsy and the other gulls in his crew are introduced slowly. Almost as chapter breaks, a bird or two is introduced with a headshot and name right before the characters make an appearance in the story. This is great for kids who might struggle with a large cast of characters.

Artwork: Artwork is an important aspect of a graphic novel. The panels are filled with muted colors that reflect the shadowy world  Birdsy and his crew inhabit. There are splashes of bright colors in the more action-packed frames. There is enough detail that will allow readers who don't have strong reading skills to figure out what is going on with the story. For the imaginative reader who likes to make up their own story as they read along, there are plenty of panels without any text so they can expand on the story.

Final thoughts: With school out, it is important to keep kids reading through the summer. Did you know a kid can lose half a grade reading level or more during summer? It's called the summer slide and has ramifications on other subjects when school starts back in the fall. It is easily combated by having kids read every day during the summer. Graphic novels are great when you have a reluctant reader or a reader who isn't quite ready for chapter books. The Gullfather reminded me of Ducktales - it might just have been the birds, but I think it was also the light tone of the story with the quick banter between characters.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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