Do Seals Ever Burp or Fart?

Well, yes they do! They also have a lot of fun, judging from the wonderful illustrations by Marjorie Leggitt in Fran Hodgkins new book, Do Seals Ever…?

Published by DownEast Books and designated a juvenile nonfiction book, I can tell you that adults will be just as entertained as kids by this book.

I’ve been through the book a half dozen times already, and will pass it on to my grandsons at Christmas (please don’t tell them).

There’s lots of interesting information in the book, such as the difference between seals and sea lions. Well, here’s a shortcut on that: just check the ears. Sea lions have visible ears, but most seals don’t.

And I’m sure you don’t know the difference between a manatee and a dugong. I sure didn’t! I especially enjoyed the photos of walruses. And having seen many Maine seals, I had no idea there is a seal that can grow to be 20 feet long and weigh up to 8,800 pounds. Yup, it’s appropriately called the elephant seal.

Fran Hodgkins is the author of Andre’ the Famous Harbor Seal and many more books. She lives in Rockport, Maine. Marjorie Leggitt teaches at the Denver Botanic Gardens and lives in Boulder, Colorado.

I got a big laugh – as will my grandsons – when I turned the page and saw a headline: Do Seal and Manatees burp and fart? Aha. They do! But don’t worry, there’s no photo of a farting seal or manatee.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.