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Adelina's Whales

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Adelina is a ten-year-old girl who lives in a quiet fishing village in Baja California, Mexico. Adelina has some very special friends-the gray whales-that come every year to spend the winter months and give birth to their calves in the protected lagoon near her home.

This beautifully photographed photo-essay introduces young readers to a very special way of life, offering insights into the world of these giant...

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Overview

Adelina is a ten-year-old girl who lives in a quiet fishing village in Baja California, Mexico. Adelina has some very special friends-the gray whales-that come every year to spend the winter months and give birth to their calves in the protected lagoon near her home.

This beautifully photographed photo-essay introduces young readers to a very special way of life, offering insights into the world of these giant mammals of the sea.

Text and photographs by Richard Sobol.

Every January, ten-year-old Adelina Mayoral looks forward to the arrival of the grey whales when they come to the lagoon near her home in Baja California, Mexico, to give birth to their calves.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Adelina, age 10, lives in La Laguna, a poor but peaceful fishing village in Baja California, Mexico. She loves everything about living near the ocean, from the smell of exposed sea life at low tide to watching the migrations of birds and mammals. Her greatest joy is seeing the gray whales that swim from as far as Alaska and Russia, showing up along the Pacific coast in November, December and January. Scientists come from all over the world to study the gray whales and their new calves. Concerned celebrities, such as Glenn Close, Pierce Brosnan and Robert Kennedy Jr., in cooperation with the National Resources Defense Council, have also visited the whales. Sobol combines information-packed text with the human story of a beautiful Mexican girl and her fisher-folk family very well, indeed. His photographs sparkle. Forward by Robert Kennedy Jr. 2003, Dutton Children's Books,
— Judy Crowder
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Sobol's full-color photographs handsomely convey Mexico's Laguna San Ignacio, winter home of gray whales that migrate down the Pacific Coast. As in Seal Journey (1993) and One More Elephant (1995, both Cobblehill; o.p.), the author focuses on specific experiences of humans who interact with animals. Adelina, 10, lives in a remote fishing village. The scrappy houses, patched together from bits of wood and metal sheets, stand in contrast to the windswept sand and deep blue ocean. The simple narrative follows the girl and the fishermen in her family as they hear and see the returning whales, first from the shore and then from small boats. The huge mammals attract visitors from the outside world, and passengers with cameras poised ride along for whale watching. A sense of the great size and some of the behavior of these creatures is conveyed, but the emphasis is on the annual rhythm of the returning animals as a bond between human generations and also between humans and whales. This documentary account is well constructed and beautifully assembled on the pages. In a foreword, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., describes the advocacy work of the National Resources Defense Council in 1997 in staving off factory development in the area. A page of facts about gray whales is appended. Although readers get only a quick glimpse into each world-Adelina's and that of the whales-the glimpse is attractive and worthwhile.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Photojournalist Sobol contrasts ten-year-old Adelina Mayoral's life in a Mexican fishing village with that of the gray whales that spend three months in the water just offshore. Adelina's grandfather was among the first to realize the whales were friendly-he recounts the day a whale bumped his boat, over and over, until he realized it was simply curious, not aggressive. Now visitors come to see and even touch the whales. Scientists study them. (An introduction says that the planned development of a saltworks would have endangered the whales' habitat, but that an international protest initiated by Mexican environmental groups saved them.) The tone of the text describes both the shack where Adelina lives and the richness of her life with her family and the whales, without lapsing into sentimentality. Beautifully composed photos complete the text. Accessible on many levels, it gives a personal face to conservation. (Nonfiction. 4-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525471103
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/23/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: NC1110L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 0.01 (d)

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