In the Pacific Northwest, concerned volunteers become seal sitters, keeping vigil over the vulnerable baby seals that are left on the shore while their mothers hunt for food. Surviving in the animal kingdom is never easy and this informative picture book gives a first-hand look at what baby seals are up against. With its emphasis on human compassion, this true account teaches children to appreciate the natural world by helping in any way they can. The star of the book is six year old Miles, who organizes his own rescue mission to help the seals survive.
Listen to a new NPR interview with Brenda on how to protect seal pups during pupping season this fall, September, 2014.
Alki Beach is a popular destination for Seattle natives, and it’s also home to some of the region’s seal population. Seal pups are left alone on shore while their mothers search the sea for food, and curious people and dogs endanger the young seals. But a group of concerned neighbors called Seal Sitters have banded together to protect the pups and educate people. Seal Sitter founder Brenda Peterson, author of the children’s book “Leopard and Silkie” and 11 year old volunteer Etienne, spoke with host Bruce Gellerman about their quest to save seal pups.
WATCH PBS documentary on Seal Sitters on EarthFixx
Watch an ABC News interview with the author on "Saving Young Seals"
NATIONAL SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (NSTA) NAMES LEOPARD AND SILKIE AN "OUTSTANDING SCIENCE BOOK" FOR STUDENTS K-12
WATCH video of June 6, 2014 slide show and authors talk at Barnes and Noble for WORDS, WRITERS, and WEST SEATTLE:
Praise for Leopard and Silkie
"Vivid and compelling, Leopard and Silkie reads like poetry and will win lifelong friends for seals."
--Sy Montgomery, original author of the award-winning children's series, Scientists in the Field
"It's a delight of a book that also delivers plenty of information about the seals and their lives in the Salish Sea in a very readable, kid-friendly page turner."
--The Seattle Times
"Young animal lovers will return again and again to this picture book. . . [a] compassionate story. Young readers will find plenty to pore over in Robin Lindsey's close-up photographs of the shore life and plenty to think about how they could make a difference as a volunteer."
"Lindsey’s excellent photographs show why humans can’t stay away: Leopard’s large, dark eyes and expressive mug seem to be smiling right at the viewer, and his furry, floppy body just calls out for a hug."
--Horn Book Magazine
"Although photos of the adorable seal pups steal this nicely designed picture book, kids will likely find Miles—someone who is much like them—to be inspiring, and his efforts may spark an interest in animal rights."
"Sweet and simple version of an important story; relates being a citizen scientist to real ecological issues."
—NSTA (National Science Teachers Association chose this book as a winner of "Outstanding Science Book" of 2012
And Leopard and Silkie now have their own website!