Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2014 April #1 A brand new baby white whale swims off for the first time to investigate his ocean world. The playful calf frolics with puffins, jellyfish, crabs, and googly-eyed fish; sings to narwhals and squid; explores a pirate ship; and smiles at polar bears peeking through holes in the arctic ice. When he emerges out of arctic waters, his spout sprays in mists. As he dives deep, his glowing gurgles and frothy foam are sharply delineated against indigo waters. Every few pages the word breathe repeats, reminding readers that whales need to come to the surface for air. When the baby sleeps contentedly on the back of his loving mother, he dreams under the stars and the moon in a black sky lit by blue-green northern lights. Endpapers sport duplicate pods of white whales swimming on an aqua background. Every double-page spread is filled with delights. Severalwords per page ("play all day" or "make friends"), simple shapes, and bright digitalized colors tell this story about the joys of exploring our world. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews : PW Reviews 2014 February #1
Magoon (The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot!) rejoices in the life of a young beluga whale, focusing on images of serenity and encouragement over educational aims or warnings of environmental danger. By alternating underwater scenes with commands to breathe, Magoon provides an immediate sense of how the pace and scale of a whale's life differs from that of a human. "Breathe, little whale!" he begins, as the smiling beluga, seen next to its mother, lets out a puff of watery spray. Magoon's digital illustrations add piquant touches of special-effects magic: trails of sparkly bubbles follow the diving whales in the icy-blue water, the depths of a vertical spread glow with a bioluminescent green, tendrils of sound curl out from the small whale to fill the ocean ("Listen to the sea. Sing"). Arctic animals and fish dot the landscape, and mother is always nearby: "Most of all, love... be loved." It's a pleasure simply to enjoy the beluga's existence, though readers should readily recognize that Magoon's directives to "make new friends" and "find another way up" apply to them, too. Ages 4â8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Apr.)
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School Library Journal Reviews : SLJ Reviews 2014 March
PreS-Gr 1âWith the encouragement of its mother, a young whale spends the day exploring, making new friends, finding shipwrecks, and swimming past glaciers, while intermittently pausing to "breathe" during its busy day. When the whale encounters a polar bear and becomes frightened, its mother soon reappears and assures its safety. This comforting tale not only gives youngsters the opportunity to explore the ocean alongside a whale but also subtly reminds them of the importance of slowing down to take a break every once in a while. Magoon's illustrations, which were rendered digitally, are vibrant and expansive, each filling a spread with vivid shades of blue. The minimal text is laid out in clear, big font, supporting the impressive illustrations without ever overshadowing them. With its succinct text and sprawling pictures, this story is perfectly suitable as a read-aloud. Pair it with Stephanie St. Pierre's What the Sea Saw (Peachtree, 2006) for a gentle, ocean-themed storytime.âLaura J. Giunta, Garden City Public Library, NY
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