Children’s book looks at saving our beaches

Saving Sammy the Sea Skate

Saving Sammy the Sea Skate

I very recently, as in this week, published a children’s book. The book was written based on an actual event that took place when I visited my sister, her husband, and my nephew at Smith Point, Fire Island, New York.

We were walking down the beach at night and found a sea skate stranded in the sand. Using some driftwood, my sister and brother-in-law lifted the poor thing back into the water, where it hopefully continues to swim happily and in good health. We knew it was still alive because it’s little legs flapped around as they lifted it.

My sister said, “You should write a children’s book about that. It could have a message about how it’s important to take care of the beach.”

So, I did. And I’m proud to help spread the pro-Protect Our Beaches and Wildlife message I grew up with as the daughter of a longtime National Park Service Interpretor — Neal Bullington.

“Saving Sammy the Sea Skate,” is available at (

I’m happy with how it came out. I was also surprised by how complex the process was. I’ve written and published full-length books in the past and those were very time-consuming. I thought this would be a snap in comparison. I was wrong. I illustrated the book using photographs, as well as graphics created in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

I included the story of the rescue of “Sammy,” and also added additional information at the end, including facts about odd and interesting sea creatures, as well as some tips for helping keep our beaches clean and safe for wildlife. It was a bit of a struggle trying to find the right line between informative yet interesting for young kids.

I’m glad I undertook this project and hope to write more “Taking Care of the Beach” books in the near future. My only regret is that the photos inside the book are black and white and not color, but the cost of the book is only (approximately) $3.00. I will, however, make a Kindle version available, and that version should display color photos.

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