Kids Read - The Shape of Whales PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michelle Spence   



April marks the return of humpback whales to the Monterey Bay, after spending their winter months off the coast of Mexico. To get ready for the treat of casual whale sightings as you walk along the beach or drive up the coast, turn to these books with beautiful whale illustrations—and some sweet stories, to boot.



If I Were a Whale

Written by Shelley Gill

Illustrated by Erik Brooks

Beautiful and detailed renditions of nine different whale species accompany this simple rhyming celebration of these magnificent creatures. With just a smidgeon of technical detail (a distinguishing feature for each species), this little board book calls to us to delve deeper and keep our eyes open.


If You Want to See a Whale

Written by Julie Fogliano

Illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Just like many things that are really worthwhile, seeing a whale takes an ocean view, lots of patience, and “a not-too-comfy chair…because sleeping eyes can’t watch for whales and whales won’t wait for watching.” In a world full of distractions, these pages lay out a few simple rules for staying focused on the important things. Erin Stead’s intricate pencil and color drawings are cozy and detailed all the way through, but the finale is really something.


Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem

Written by Mac Barnett

Illustrated by Adam Rex

Mom says, “Billy Twitters, clean up your room, or we’re buying you a blue whale.” An idle a threat as ever heard (though strangely species specific), and yet that’s exactly what happens. And of course, Billy is obligated to bring his new pet everywhere he goes. Adam Rex fills the pages with views of the blue whale from far off and way up close, but try as he might, he can’t get the entire whale on the page; size comparisons abound. How does the story end? That’s for me to know and you to find out. Of special interest to longtime Mac Barnett fans (like me), B.T.a.h.B.W.P., as he fondly refers to it, is his first picture book.


Amos & Boris

By William Steig

For a completely different whale view, turn to cartoonist William Steig’s tale of friendship. It’s just when Amos the mouse most needs saving that he meets Boris the whale, and a delightful conversation about the nature of mammals ensues. Years later, Amos gets a chance to repay the favor, and reconnect with an old friend.



Michelle Spence is a children’s bookseller at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Her favorite books are the ones her kids can quote by heart.


Last Updated on Monday, 02 April 2018 13:36
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