I’ve read some fantastic picture books so far this year but the new picture book by Elys Dolan, Steven Seagull: Action Hero, has blown all the others out of the water.
Steven Seagull: Action Hero is the hilarious story of Steven, a retired cop who comes back to the force for one last case. Someone is stealing the sand from Beach City and it’s up to Steven and his ex-partner, a goldfish called Mac, to catch the thief. They have a list of suspects, including reformed criminals Harry, Lola and Rick. Will they catch the culprit and find out what’s been happening to the missing sand? You don’t want to mess with this seagull.
Steven Seagull: Action Hero is the funniest picture book I’ve ever read. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book for months as I’m a huge fan of Elys Dolan’s books. She creates picture books with so many layers of humour and this book is no exception. I was laughing the whole time I was reading it and every time I read it again it makes me giggle. There is no doubt that kids will love Steven Seagull but this is one of those rare picture books that will appeal to adults as much as kids. I think it’s a book that dads in particular will love, with the references to action movies and action stars like Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude van Damme.
In Elys’s other picture books there have been lots of funny details to find in the illustrations and the pages can be packed with characters. In Steven Seagull though it’s often the sparse pages that are the funniest. Take the first two pages for example:
I love the look on Steven’s face as he looks into the distance. It’s the perfect action hero stare. He looks tough and afraid of nothing.
I also love the stereotypical action movie details in the illustrations. Steven’s partner Mac has his police badge around his neck the whole time, there are posters up around the place encouraging the animals to ‘Vote Clam’ for mayor, and the end papers of Steven doing karate moves look like a montage of Steven preparing himself for a fight.
I urge everyone to buy a copy of Steven Seagull: Action Hero (or at the very least borrow it constantly from your library) and join the Steven Seagull fan club. It’s a picture book that I want to share with everyone and I encourage you to share it with everyone too.