The Whale, the Sea and the Stars

Floris. Jul. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781782505594.
PreS-Gr 1–A young whale searches the oceans to find her true home. Gerda and her brother Lars live contentedly with their parents, leaping, splashing and swimming together. One day when Gerda is old enough she sets out on her own to see the world and find her true home, buoyed by her mother’s song that tells her to “follow her heart.” She journeys across the world, meeting all sorts of creatures on the way, until she finally discovers a place that makes her heart sing; a home where she can live happily forever. The detailed digital illustrations are overlaid with natural textures to create beautiful magical scenes on every page. The play of light in the artwork is captivating, seen in the pink and golden glow of a sunrise or as incandescent beams illuminate an icy cave deep underwater. The author uses Gerda’s conversations with other creatures to move the story forward, with Gerda asking for help and learning from everyone she meets along her journey. Some of the creatures that she encounters are allegorical cautions against gossip, greed, and frivolity, while others simply help her find her way. Throughout, the story lines from the “old whale song” that Gerda’s mother sang remind her to keep searching and offer encouragement whenever she falters.
VERDICT Idyllic and soothing, this is a perfect choice for an older storytime or for one-on-one bedtime sharing

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