Life After Whale: The Amazing Ecosystem of a Whale Fall

Holiday House/Neal Porter. Jun. 2024. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823452286.
Gr 2-4–Little is known about occurrences out in the open waters of the ocean, but this title tackles what happens when a whale dies. Brunelle opens by introducing a blue whale and helping readers understand its size and life span; things take a really compelling turn when the whale dies and the story of the decomposition of the body of the largest mammal on Earth begins. In meticulous detail, the narrative covers the eye-opening descent of the whale’s body to the ocean bottom, and then how scavengers feast on it. Finally, Brunelle makes connections between the decomposition process and the food cycle that, when complete, will supply nutrients to the next generation of whales. Chin’s iridescent and highly detailed images are the perfect counterpoint to the absorbing text. This book is ideal for young readers who love simple, clear facts about animals or for older readers who will find the decomposition process fascinating. Educators will also appreciate the clear organization and descriptive writing style.
VERDICT An excellent addition to any elementary library collection.

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