Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE STALKING SEAGULLS Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends! The warmer weather reminds me of many happy summer days spent on the beach at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York where I grew up. And thinking of the beach reminds me of many snacks lost to marauding seagulls! When I saw this new book by the lovely Michelle Vattula, I knew I wanted to share it with you.


Written by Michelle Vattula

Illustrated by T.L. Derby

Published by Maclaren-Cochrane Publishing (Dyslexic edition: April 2021)

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Ingenuity, summer fun, seagulls

Synopsis: From Amazon:

This book is Dyslexic inclusive; it is printed in a font that everyone can read, including people with dyslexia.

One boy. One sandwich. One hungry flock of seagulls. Armed with his beastly beach balls and bucket blockade, Alec strives to safeguard his sandwich. In this battle of wits, one clever counterattack stands between Alec and a fun-filled day at the beach. THE STALKING SEAGULLS will engage the reader in this playful power struggle between boy and bird with an outcome neither one anticipates.

Level Learner Books # 2 Basic language, word repetition, and whimsical illustrations, ideal for sharing with your emergent reader.

For more info about the font, go to

Why I Love This Book

  1. It reminds me of summers at the beach…and I know kids will relate to the seagulls who can sometimes be somewhat aggressive/annoying in their pursuit of your lunch.
  2. Bold vivid illustrations will keep kids engaged and turning the pages.
  3. Text is printed in Dyslexiefont, accessible to all readers.


Photo courtesy:

I’m a big fan of paper plate crafts…fun, easy, and inexpensive! For detailed instructions:

And today, not only do we get a fun new picture book title to check out and a cool paper plate craft to try, but we also get a visit from the lovely Michelle Vattula who stopped by to chat about her path to publication. Take it away, Michelle!

MICHELLE: Thanks for inviting me to stop by, Vivian.

So, the hardest part of writing was to know where to start. I was very naive and needed guidance. I found that guidance through the SCBWI. At my first conference, is where I found my first critique group which has been vital to my writing career. 

The most difficult part of the publication process for The Stalking Seagulls, was having patience. The book publication date was pushed back numerous times and I waited 3 years for its release. 

My inspiration for this book came from a day at the beach while visiting my parents in Florida. When lunch time approached, so did the seagulls. They didn’t care what we had, they wanted anything. Who hasn’t been stalked by a seagull?

I definitely have, Michelle! And I’m sure many of our readers have, too. And I want to remind them to make sure they leave a comment to be entered in the wonderful giveaway! Maybe everyone can tell us about their seagull or other animal-snatching experiences. Please also share the post on social media.

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Please stay safe, dear friends. I’ll be visiting the Blue Bunny Bookstore on Saturday – one of my local SCBWI friends wants to take a drive. I wonder what book I’ll come home with?

40 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: THE STALKING SEAGULLS Plus Giveaway

  1. No seagull stories, but we have chickens that will follow us like the Pied Piper and have been known to snatch food from unsuspecting little hands. This sounds like the perfect summer read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Eleanor…thanks for stopping by! And I’d be up for some clam picking and clam chowder…pass on the seagulls, thank you very much.
      How are you doing, dear lady? Bologna 2019 seems a hundred years ago…but I’ll never forget our fun dinners all together with Julie, Fiona, Simona, and Maria.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh,yes, I know these smarty pants. Seagulls! I nearly lost a bag of pretzels and friends lost their beloved lobster rolls. I can’t wait to read this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ha! My son would have loved this one when he was a tyke. Congrats on making it through the publishing maze, Michelle! Your book looks like so much fun, and the art by T.L. Derby adds to the humor. Great work! And now I’m off to research dyslexic fonts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Argh…sea gulls! They were always a problem at the beach when I was young. As soon as you got your food out, they were moving in on you.

    I look forward to reading this book and really appreciate that the font is dyslexic-friendly..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This story rings so true! Glad you wrote it!
    I grew up on the beach in Florida. Every winter, much to our dismay, tourists would feed the “cute seagulls”. When the tourists headed back up North, the well trained “cute” seagulls zeroed in on us!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Michelle! This book sounds so fun! For some reason, I feel like I may have heard this premise before, like you submitted it on Susanna Leonard Hill’s pitch day blog, maybe? I would be very excited if that is the case to have had a chance to see it in its infancy and now all grown up into a book! Congratulations either way!!!!!!!!!!! It really does sound awesome! =)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I remember seeing this too, and thinking what a terrific idea you had. I’m glad a publisher agreed! (Have you seen the video of the seagull that casually walks into a store, pulls a bag of chips from the rack, then hurries out the door? Those birds are sneaky-smart.)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a greaat post! One time we played a seagull joke on my husband’s brother. He wanted to spend the night in a sleeping bag on the beach, so early in the morning we surrounded his sleeping back with bits of bread, so he woke up to the sound of seagulls swooping down and cawing about the the excitement of their breakfast feast. He was not quite as amused as we were at the moment, but now it’s a classic family story.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Ahh yes, those hungry, opportunistic birds of the beach!! Great idea for a story! Would love to hear more about the font–was that your idea, collaborative effort, etc? Congrats on your release!

    Liked by 2 people

    • My publisher, MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing, specializes in printing in dyslexie (dyslexic font). MCP is a great advocate for individuals with dyslexia. I owe that great idea to them 😉

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.