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Posts Tagged ‘Whales’

TOHORA The southern Right Whale by Ned Barraud

October 20, 2019 Comments off

TohoraTOHORA The southern Right Whale by Ned Barraud. Pub. Potton & Burton.

Ned Barraud is one of the best illustrators in NZ especially of wildlife and in this excellent publication he gives the reader a real sense of affection for the whale that got it’s name because it was the right whale to hunt.

From the 1840’s the southern right whale was hunted to near extinction with nearly 40, 000 of them being slaughtered, cooked for their whale oil and their baleen used for the corsets of European women.

This picture book sized work is a hopeful look at the survival of the right whale prompted no doubt by the visitation and frolicking of a right whale in Wellington Harbour a couple of years back. An area that it once thrived.

Illustrations of the Right whale are superb.

Excellent information in simple yet powerful text. Better than anything you can get on the Net. For primary and intermediate levels.

 

 

And the Ocean Was our Sky by Patrick Ness. Illus. Rovina Cai.

September 9, 2019 Comments off

ocean skyAnd the ocean Was our Sky by Patrick Ness. illus. Rovina Cai. Pub. Walker books, 2019.

Nietzsche once said “if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss stares into you”. So it is with this outstanding novel about the worlds of whales and men, each with a determination to kill the other.

This book is from the whales’ point of view as they hunt a devil ship with a white hull called the Toby Wick. For the whale, gazing into the abyss is the reverse of man. They do so when they breach the surface and encounter the sky.

The whale society is as sophisticated as our own and they want to hunt us in the same way as humans hunt the whales. Captain Alexander leads a pod with apprentices whose mission is to chase a prophecy that says a show down with the devil in the form of Toby Wick is inevitable. Read it and see if it is.

Just as Ishmael narrates Moby Dick, apprentice whale, Bathsheba, under the command of Capt. Alexander narrates this stunning novel. The pod discovers a wrecked ship on the surface with a human barely alive on board but carrying a medallion in his hand that is interpreted by the whales as foreshadowing a clash with the devil, Toby Wick.

Bathsheba captures the man for the pod and encloses him in an air bubble so that he can survive in their world. This relationship is to question the whole way in which whales and men relate to each other, but will it stop a catastrophic ending?

This novel is one of the reasons that I stay with children and young adult literature. The illustrations of Rovina Cai are off this planet, depicting the world of the whales in their grey/blue world, but increasingly red mingles, then dominates.

Don’t miss this outstanding work for high school , young adult and adult. The best of the year, bloody brilliant in fact.

Dear Professor Whale by Megumi Iwasa, illus. Jun Takabatake.

August 14, 2018 Comments off

dear whaleDear Professor Whale by Megumi Iwasa, illus. Jun Takabatake. Pub. Gecko Press, 2017.

When giraffe told pelican to deliver a letter to those that live across the horizon he opened up a can of worms that started a splurge of letter writing.

The letter was given to seal who gave it to penguin who told whale about it.

Now whale is wondering what happened to all his friends who have disappeared from Whale point and dreams about the Whale Point Olympics in which he won a gold medal for the best spout.

Whale writes a letter to be delivered by seal and not only contacts some of his old friends but he finds a relative of his old Olympic rival.

I love letters, they for me are the most agreeable form of long distance communication. Perhaps they are on the comeback. In this book for early readers and newly confident readers letters are what precipitates the action. The Olympics are sensational.

The values in this novel are awe inspiring. Sportsmanship, politeness, acceptance of others and there is a warm fuzziness about this book.

The illustrations of all the animals are in keeping with the values of the written text. An altogether first class package.

Check out Yours Sincerely Giraffe also reviewed on this blog.