Fogliano, Julie. 2013. IF YOU WANT TO SEE A WHALE. Ill. by Erin E. Stead. New York: Roaring Brook Press. ISBN 9781596437319 [Suggested Grade Levels P-2]
This clever advice book for young whale watchers includes helpful tips as well as activities to avoid while looking for the elusive mammals. Instead of stopping to smell the roses or investigate small insects along the beach, Fogliano cautions her readers to be patient and stay attentive to the sea. Children shouldn’t gaze at passing ships “because possible pirates won’t help at all when you’re waiting for a whale.”
Stead’s pencil illustrations perfectly complement Fogliano’s story of a leisurely day spent whale watching. The soft colors and simple nautical scenes fit the peaceful mood of the story. Young children will enjoy finding the whale outlines hidden in some of the pictures and spotting the little bird that accompanies the boy while he waits.
Readers follow the boy’s day as he leaves his window, walks to the beach, and boards his small rowboat in hopes of a whale sighting. The young boy, his dog, and the bird are eventually rewarded for their patience and persistence when a large whale pops up in front of their boat.
This lovely picture book would be a great read aloud selection. Pair this book with non-fiction titles about whales for an ocean unit or encourage children to patiently search for other animals in their local habitats.
Other books for children about whales:
Antill, Sara. A WHALE’S LIFE. ISBN 9781448849789
Bunting, Eve. WHALES PASSING. ISBN 9781413162738
Gunzi, Christiane. THE BEST BOOK OF WHALES AND DOLPHINS. ISBN 9781428712690
By Kimberly C. Kinnaird