Seals Are Jerks!

by Jared Chapman (Author) Jared Chapman (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

In a hilarious story for fans of We Don't Eat Our Classmates, a young girl is determined to find out the truth about her favorite animals -- and find out once and for all, are seals really jerks and do they really eat penguins?!

Seals are Lorelei's favorite animal: they're so cute and cuddly and best buddies with penguins. Well... that's what she thought before learning the ugly truth -- some seals EAT penguins! She doesn't want to believe it at first, but she drags Penguin, the classroom guest, and seal whistleblower, to Antarctica to prove Penguin wrong and confront Seal face-to-face. And Seal finally reveals the truth.

Beloved creator of bestseller Vegetables in Underwear, Jared Chapman explores the ultimate question: Can seals be Lorelei's favorite animal even if they eat penguins? This laugh-out-loud story, brimming with honesty and charm, is perfect for today's young readers. Seals Are Jerks! is the launch of an exciting new series, in the spirit of We Don't Eat Our Classmates, Children Make Terrible Pets, and I Want My Hat Back.

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Kirkus Reviews

Thoroughly delightful.

Publishers Weekly

Chapman (the Crab and Snail series) explores what it means to be a fan when the object of one's adoration has a less than stellar character. Child Lorelei, portrayed with light brown skin and a missing front tooth, loves seals--their "big adorable eyes," "goofy bark," and most of all, how they're clearly buddies with penguins. "In every seal photo she had ever seen, there was a penguin nearby." But when Lorelei presents this information to her class, a new student--an actual penguin--refutes this claim outright: "No, seals are jerks.... Seals eat penguins." A quick trip to Antarctica results in a shocking confirmation: after some hedging, a seal admits, "How could I be friends with something that delicious?" Unfussy digital cartooning, casually funny dialogue ("Busted!" proclaims one penguin as Lorelei questions the seal), and ripped-from-the-headlines relevance make this picture book humorous and thought-provoking, and the ending offers up sage honesty. When Lorelei, comprehending the reality of the food chain, asks "Is everyone a jerk?" the seal wisely responds, "We're just wild animals and in nature, some things are just the way they re." Antarctica facts conclude. Ages 4-8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for Seals Are Jerks!:

"Kids will be laughing hysterically while learning about a food chain... A must add book for all children's libraries with primary grades especially pre-Kindergarten through second grade will delight in this book." —

Praise for Vegetables in Underwear:

"Those who are making the transition from diapers are sure to laugh." — Kirkus Reviews

"The glories of underwear are celebrated in this humorous book, which successfully merges a child's desire to transition from diapers with bold, comical illustrations." — Booklist

"Vegetables in underwear? Guaranteed preschool hilarity... Expect second, third, and more helpings of this scantily clad harvest." — The Horn Book Magazine

Praise for Pirate, Viking, & Scientist:

"A clear triumph for the scientific method... as funny as it is sneakily informative." — Kirkus Reviews

"This is a great read-aloud to foster discussions around the scientific process and important lessons about friendship. An excellent addition." — School Library Journal

Praise for Steve, Raised by Wolves:

"Steve's wolflike behavior will have children giggling... The story's message of the need to balance individuality with group expectations is neatly presented." — Kirkus Reviews

"A clever reversal story with an uplifting resolution." — Booklist

Jared Chapman
Jared Chapman has written and illustrated four picture books -- Vegetables in Underwear; Fruits in Suits, Pirate, Viking & Scientist; and Steve, Raised by Wolves. He lives in the piney woods of Northeast Texas with his wife and four kids. You can find him online at, and on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram as @jaredchapman.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Orchard Books
Publication date
September 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV002170 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Marine Life
JUV002380 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Penguins
Library of Congress categories

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