Lori Doodey’s Clever Puffins and Children

Puffins have suddenly and inexplicably invaded this seaside town, turning up in museums and galleries, on rooftops and doorsteps, at major intersections and anyplace the eye can see

As this delightful story begins, we learn that “There once was a city by the sea with a peculiar problem.” Puffins have suddenly and inexplicably invaded this seaside town, turning up in museums and galleries, on rooftops and doorsteps, at major intersections and anyplace the eye can see. They seem to be especially fond of the downtown, where they prove to be a major distraction, tying up traffic and generally becoming a nuisance to all but the birdwatchers.

Would perhaps shipping them off to Iceland be a possibility? Fortunately “someone small and smart” proposes a more practical solution. Soon, boats filled with fish (donated by local seafood shops) head out to sea with a myriad of puffins happily following them to the ocean. Problem solved…for now!

Utterly charming and winsome, this book is a delight, from the beautifully decorated endpapers to each page in between. A backnote explains how young puffins do, in fact, ofen get confused by city lights and wind up stranded on land as they try to make their way to the ocean. Young readers may be inspired to learn about the Puffin Patrol that seeks to rescue and reroute lost puffins.

The simple, spare prose lends the book an understated quality that enriches the subtle humour and playfulness of the story. The illustrations are loose and layered and colourful with a folk-art flavour that perfectly suits the text and captures the distinctly Newfoundland setting. Using thin lines, solid colours and a predominantly flat perspective, Doodey conveys warmth and whimsy in every image and the cheery, cheeky puffins add an impish tone to the story. Children will relish the opportunity to pore over the images in search of puffins while adult readers will appreciate the cleverness of both the text and illustrations.

The Puffin Problem
Lori Doodey
Running the Goat, Books & Broadsides

Written By

Lisa Doucet is the co-manager of Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax. She shares her passion for children’s and young adult books as our young readers editor and book reviewer.

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