Puffling written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Julie Vivas, is a sweet story with great pastel drawings of the puffin family. It tells the story of Puffling from the time he hatches until he leaves the nest to start his own adventures. As with most children, Puffling wants to be big and keeps asking his parents when he’ll be old enough to leave the burrow. His parents, Big Stripy Beak and Long Black Feather, tell him that when he is “strong enough and tall enough and brave enough, you’ll leave the burrow all by yourself.” He can’t wait to leave the burrow and be on his own. Puffling adorably takes practice adventures, popping his head out of the burrow, sticking one leg out, and waggling his bottom at the scary gulls. Periodically, he asks if he’s strong enough, tall enough or brave enough yet and his parents tell him “not yet,” until he’s big enough to be on his own.
Puffling is a very easy story for children to relate to. Puffling’s parents love him and reassure him that no matter what he’ll always be their child, even when he’s grown-up. They tell him to stay safe, but encourage him to start spreading his own wings. My two year old really enjoyed listening to this book and it was a great introduction to the puffins we saw on a boat trip in Maine. Cap’n Fish’s Puffin tour is accompanied by an Audubon naturalist who describes the different birds you’ll see on Eastern Egg Rock and the ongoing conservation efforts that began in the 1970s to reintroduce the puffins to Maine. There are lots of choices for Puffin tours with boats leaving from Cutler Harbor, Booth Bay Harbor, New Harbor, Port Clyde, Stonington, Bar Harbor, Milbridge and South Addison. You never know what you’ll see, and a boat ride on the ocean is fun for everyone.