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Kathleen Fidler's strength is in describing natural environments, particularly evoking the rugged island life of the inhabitants of such as Lindisfarne, where survival is linked closely to the moods of the sea. 'The seals lay close together on the rocks and warily watched the passing boats with their large beautiful eyes.' The seals make good attractions for the tourists, but are an increasing threat to the salmon fishing. Dan grows up as a member of a family of fishing folk, aware of this constant quandary in the struggle to make ends meet. The culling season is here, and although Dan knows that 'the men who slaughter the seals do it as painlessly as possible', that doesn't make him feel any better. His moral dilemma is made a personal decision when he stumbles across the singing seal, a baby seemingly orphaned during the cull. A sensitive story, realistically told, with a relevant message in these times of reawakening ecological concern. A timely re-issue.