Kylie Howarth, Chip, The Five Mile Press,  March 2016, 32pp., $19.95 (hbk),  ISBN: 9781760400736

Seagulls and fish and chips are like bread and honey – someone had to put them together sometime. And author/illustrator Kylie Howarth has done an excellent job in this gorgeously illustrated picture book. The story is told in simple language with alliteration employed to good effect.

Chip and his mates are accustomed to scavenging off the customers at Joe’s chip van. But when Joe puts up a sign saying DO NOT FEED THE GULLS, Chip and his mates go hungry. Chip comes up with a brilliant plan which involves amazing acrobatic gulls. Everybody is happy and Joe rewards Chip and his buddies (for the extra customers) with nice healthy fish.

The environmental message is not over-blown here but relevant to kids who are often given bread to feed to ducks by adults who should know better. I also liked it that Chip learnt that it was better to be an entertaining gull than a rude one – everyone knows the annoyance of persistent seagulls when trying to enjoy a feed of f & c. An added feature of the book, is a double lift-out spread of Chip and his flying friends. Highly recommended for pre-school and junior primary.

Reviewed by Heather Gallagher


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