Hello, Baby Beluga

PreS-Gr 1—Baby Beluga swims in the ocean while answering nine questions about himself and his kind. After describing his appearance ("I am five feet long./My skin is dark gray./It will turn white like my mother's/when I am older"), and home ("I live in the Arctic Ocean./I like cold water"), he raises his head out of the water to demonstrate how he breathes, makes sounds, and watches for enemies. Underwater, he drinks milk from his mother and swims with his pod. Single-page illustrations of Baby Beluga in an iceberg-spotted ocean appear next to sky-blue pages of questions and answers until it's time to say goodnight. The story ends with a two-page close-up of the beluga and a multicolored sunset with 10 additional facts about these whales superimposed on it. Realistic illustrations rendered in watercolor, ink, colored pencil, and pastels complement the facts. After learning about these creatures, children can sing along with Raffi as you read his Baby Beluga (Knopf, 1990).—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Lunde delivers facts about baby beluga whales in a simple direct-address question-answer format, almost as if a child is conducting a casual interview with a candid young whale: "Hello, swimming animal. What is your name?" One smaller-print spread at the end gives additional beluga facts. Cool blues, whites, and grays dominate the illustrations, which showcase the happy calf in its arctic surroundings.

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