Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Reading 2015 When Whales Cross the Sea


Easy to read nonfiction on animal migrations is great for school libraries or classroom collections. This whole set would be a wonderful addition to either space. The narrative begins with how a gray whale prepares for the migration south and ends with the whale and her baby heading north as the seasons change. Illustrations (done with acrylics), wrap the reader in cool blue tones that crate the sense of being in the water with the whales. My favorite is a view looking from underneath the whale and back up toward the ocean's surface. The whale's form is outlined against the sunlight filtering through the water. The map of the migration route, table of gray whale facts, glossary, index, and list of more books to read on the subject are all very helpful features. The facts themselves are presented smoothly through the narrative and there are only a few on each page, which keeps it from being boring or overwhelming. The reader's eyes will be drawn to the two-page spreads that give the illustrator plenty of room to show details of the whale's appearance. 

I would recommend this book to any elementary school or children's library, as well as to any young whale enthusiasts. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I think it would be fun to show someone just the top part of the cover and ask them to guess what the book is about. I'm sure many people would say, "an elephant," because of the color and texture of the skin around the eye. That could lead into a comparing/contrasting activity of those two mammals - elephants and whales.

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