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Thy Friend, Obadiah
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Thy Friend, Obadiah

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  441 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Obadiah, a young Quaker boy living in colonial Nantucket, is constantly followed by a sea gull that he wishes would leave him alone. When it does leave, he wants it back.
Paperback, 40 pages
Published July 29th 1982 by Puffin Books (first published 1969)
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(showing 1-30)
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Oct 13, 2011 Josephine rated it really liked it
A sweet story of a little Quaker boy, aggravated by a seagull which follows him EVERYWHERE. In the end, he does accept the bird's presence when he has the chance to do it a favor by untangling a fish hook and line from the seagull's beak.
Kristine Hansen
Jul 15, 2015 Kristine Hansen rated it really liked it
There is something very pleasurable in both the illustrations and the use of the words "thee" and "thy" in the course of this book. Like sitting down to a meal of comfort food, I enjoyed reading about Obadiah and his strange friend who follows him wherever he goes. The glimpses of colonial life make this a book that would fit well with a unit on early American history, and the story itself is engaging and kept me wanting to read long after the last page was turned. I will certainly seek out ...more
Dec 17, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing
this book taught me to not throw rocks at birds, and about how awesome it is to say "thy friend"
Rachael Mack
Sep 11, 2014 Rachael Mack rated it liked it
Briton Turkles takes his readers on a simplistic journey through the story Thy Friend, Obadiah. This story is about a young boy, Obadiah, who has a seagull following him around everywhere he goes. At first, Obadiah is annoyed by the seagulls stalking and presence. Obadiah’s family thinks that it is “very nice that one of God’s creatures favors thee”, but still Obadiah tries to rid himself of the bird. He yells and the bird and even throws a rock, but still the bird is there. Eventually, the ...more
Frankly when I first saw this book, the first things I thought was “Man, this sounds really old-fashioned,” and “Who names their kid Brinton Turkle?”. However, this book has taken me by surprise, in a good way. I had never heard it before I picked it up as part of the Caldecott Challenge, as it is 1970 Caldecott Honor award winner.

The story is about a young Quaker boy named Obadiah, who lives with his family in Colonial Nantucket. He is befriended by a seagull he follows him around everywhere,
Dec 29, 2015 Sylvester rated it really liked it
5* art
5* story

I like this one more than Squirt does at the moment, but he'll come round. There is something magical in this book, reading it out loud is awesome - using " thee" and "thou" is a rare thing these days, and it's surprisingly fun. I wondered if Squirt would be puzzled by it, but he took it all in without blinking. The Illustrations are wonderful. Will be reading this many many times.

As an aside - I am reading In the Heart of the Sea by Philbrick - also about Nantucket and the Quaker
May 23, 2012 Samantha rated it it was ok
Obadiah is followed around by a seagull and wants nothing more than for the bird to leave him alone. When the bird finally does leave him alone he finds that he misses him and wants him back. Eventually their paths meet again and Obadiah helps the bird free himself from some fishing wire around his beak solidifying their friendship. Obadiah is from a Quaker family living in the colonial era so the language includes words like thy and thee. The artwork looks like watercolor. There are some nice ...more
Becky B
A little Quaker boy in late 1700s/early 1800s Nantucket is followed around by a friendly seagull. Obadiah dislikes the seagull's attention and scares it off, but when it is hurt he decides to help it and realizes maybe it is ok to have a friendly seagull.

Some Caldecott Honor books show their age in their illustration styles, but the illustration style of Turkle in this one is timeless. They are still charming and in a style that will appeal to modern readers. The book provides a little glimpse i
Rosa Cline
Aug 11, 2015 Rosa Cline rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, caldecott-award
This book won a Caldecott Award. It's story is one of friendship between a boy and a bird. The bird knows he likes the boy but the boy doesn't like the bird hanging around him. He gets teased about it and doesn't like it. But later he misses the bird and goes in search of him. Realizing true friendship. This story is a little hard for 'modern' children since it does use 'thy' and 'thee' quite a bit. The speech is different than children are used to; but nice story to expose them to the language ...more
Sydney Hall
Mar 23, 2016 Sydney Hall added it
Shelves: caldecott
I would not have expected "Thy Friend, Obadiah" to have been picked for a Caldecott. It is about a young boy who has a sea gull friend follow him around everyday. While most children might enjoy having a friend like this, Obadiah does not. When eventually the bird leaves, Obadiah wishes it was back. The idea of wanting something back after we lost it popped into my head after reading this. I think this would be a good book to expose children for the moral lesson of appreciating what we have in ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a sweet, old fashioned story about a seagull who befriends a young boy. The narrative is very simple and is used as a tool to help depict the life of Quakers on Nantucket in Colonial times. The illustrations are very expressive and complement the story nicely. We enjoyed reading this story together.
Aug 19, 2014 Abby rated it really liked it
This Newbery Honor book tells a unique and charming story about a boy who is, inexplicably, befriended by a sea gull. The illustrations are rough-drawn and low-chroma, giving the New England winter an appropriate mood. The language is old-fashioned, using lots of "thee"s and "thou"s and "thy"s, which I really like.
It is a wonderful lesson about friendship.
Pleasant little Caldecott Honor picture book. Kind of a simple view of a moment in time in what appears to be Colonial Nantucket. The story is all about a gull that follows a boy around until it needs something from him and they become friends. But it captures what it means to be a boy in that time and place as well. Not great but a good feel to it. 3.5 of 5.
The only reason this book has such a low rating is that I didn't find myself overly interested in the story. I thought that the illustrations were nice and the story fairly straightforward, but I definitely don't see myself buying this book anytime soon.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Matthew Hunter
A seagull befriends a young Quaker boy; a young Quaker boy gradually befriends the seagull. This story, drawings and text all done by the author Brinton Turkle, is so sweet it just might draw a tear or two during a read along. And the characters use words like thee and thy, which adds to the charm. Big thumbs up from our family.
Dec 13, 2012 Paul rated it liked it
The narrative is the gold of this book; the pictures are simple illustrations, but not especially imaginative. I think a young reader's experience of the book would, however, be imaginative. This doesn't feel like it was written in the last hundred years, which helps with its simplicity and endearing storyline.
Dale Barlow
Dec 21, 2013 Dale Barlow rated it liked it
A Quaker boy is followed by a sea gull but the boy throws rocks at the sea gull until it leaves, then returns with a fish hook in its beak, which the boy removes then acknowledges that now are both friends. A Caldicott Honor Book (not sure which year), 1st published in 1969, republished many years. uncounted # of pgs.; read in Morgan’s 1st NC home, Sept. ‘13/#52.
Sep 10, 2012 Amanda rated it it was amazing
This is a silly and cute book. It has wonderful illustrations. I love how the author really gets into the mind of a child. The child in this book is completely believable as a youngster. A seagull follows Obadiah around through out the story and his family teases him and calls the bird his friend. Obadiah doesn't want this bird as his friend. See what happens, read this book!
Aug 29, 2015 SamZ rated it liked it
Shelves: caldecott
1970 Caldecott Honor. Favorite Illustraion: I love the page that shows the whole family lined up tall to small on their way to church on Sunday.
This is a sweet little tale about a young boy who at first is annoyed by the attention of a pesky sea gull, but eventually learns to care for him.
Caldecotts focus on illustrations and not story which is good because this one is a bit slow. And Unclear. I was confused as to the orientation of the family until I read it was Quaker.
Caldecott honor.
Jul 20, 2015 Beverly rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
I liked this story of the little Quaker boy first resisting, then accepting, the friendship of a sea gull. The paintings expertly capture the very early years of Nantucket Island, including buildings, costumes, ships, and the Quaker family's home.
A Caldecott honor book from 1970, this is a sweet story set in colonial massachusetts? I loved the old fashioned charm of the illustrations and the gentle story of a Quaker boy and a sea gull that befriends him. A subtle message of kindness prevails. I'll fit this into our colonial America study.
Apr 18, 2016 Molly rated it liked it
A young Quaker boy is annoyed by a seagull that follows him around until a fateful event brings them together.

This is a nice story about friendship and helping others. It also has great illustrations.
Carrie Mushitz
Dec 18, 2013 Carrie Mushitz rated it really liked it
This is a cute book. The little boy Obadiah has a seagull that follows him every where. At first he hates the seagull and wants it to go away, but by the end of the book he has changed his mine and they become friends.
A sweet story of a young boy, Obadiah, and the seagull that follows him around. Obadiah is annoyed by the seagull...but when the gull needs help, Obadiah assists the bird...and decides he is glad to have such a friend. Very gentle story that makes me feel a bit nostalgic.
Anne Nydam
Sep 13, 2007 Anne Nydam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebook
This is a lovely book in every way. Its historical setting may require some background explanations, but it's worth it.
Etta Mcquade
Sep 28, 2010 Etta Mcquade rated it it was amazing
A gentle book that all of my children loved, both sons and daughters, and I loved to read it to them.
Aug 02, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it
A charming story with a helping of Quaker manners and a lesson on kindness. I really like gentle books.
Nov 30, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-alouds
This story is written in old-school language, but the storry is sweet and something boys will totally dig - a seagull as a friend, totally awesome!
Dec 22, 2009 Ami rated it it was ok
A woman at Meeting gave me this book when I asked for Quaker books to share with my friends' children. It was a sort of boring story, and the family's religion was firmly in the background.
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