Children's Literature - Leila Toledo
Facts about the Blue Whale are presented in a graphic and interesting way. Davies reports on their size, blowholes, breathing, eating and traveling habits, in addition to other items about these huge creatures of the ocean. Kids are invited to take an informative journey with this magnificent marine mammal.
Children's Literature - Leila Toledo and Marilyn Courtot
Nicola Davies garnered accolades for this look at nature's largest living marvel in Big Blue Whale. The spare, lyrical text often uses examples from the child's world to help youngsters understand this great creature. For example, the blue whale's skin is "springy and smooth like a hard-boiled egg" and its eye is "big as a teacup." Nick Maland's pen-and-ink and wash illustrations capture both the majesty and vulnerability of the blue whale, of which only 10,000 remain. Facts about the blue whale are presented in a graphic and interesting way. Davies reports on their size, blowholes, breathing, eating and traveling habits, in addition to other items about these huge creatures of the ocean. Kids are invited to take an informative journey with this magnificent marine mammal both in the book and with the audio CD. The story is read by Alan Marriott and then additional facts are provided about this creature that is the biggest that has ever lived on the Earth. The third and final track has the book being read again with music to assist young readers with the page turns. Part of the "Read, Listen & Wonder" series. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum, Leila Toledo and Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3Small human figures make occasional comic appearances in the pictures, but this handsome slim volume is an informative introduction to the life of "the biggest creature that has ever lived on Earth." In an effective opening double-page scene, a young man and woman reach up toward an elephant and a giraffe, all of them standing next to the tail end of the whale, demonstrating its enormous size. Davies offers simple, lively descriptions of the blue whale's body, eating habits, child care, migration, and means of communication. "Yet, the blue whale may not be as lonely as it seems. Because sometimes it makes a huma hum so loud and so low that it can travel for thousands of miles through the seas to reach other blue whales." Maland's cross-hatched pen-and-ink drawings, washed in soft tones of blue, gray, aqua, and orange, sometimes appear as smaller, blocked scenes, but more often they fill the double-page spreads with bits of caption gracefully curving around related picture elements. A simple index appears at the front of the book, doubling as a table of contents. Some libraries may assign this to the picture-book shelves, where it will be read as a true-life story, but it will serve equally well as nonfiction. It's a pleasing choice for reading aloud or for classroom use.Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Conversational text and soft, crosshatched pen-and-ink illustrations ebb and flow in a fluid look at the largest mammal ever to inhabit the earth.
Invoking the senses, Davies describes the blue whale's physical attributes in irresistible, crystalline terms. Its skin is "springy and smooth like a hard-boiled egg, and it's as slippery as wet soap." The enormity of the blue whale comes into focus in the illustrations that place it next to a giraffe and an elephant, bringing it into the everyday realm of children. The scale of this leviathan becomes even clearer when Davies notes that its eyes are the size of teacups and its ears are no larger than the end of a pencil. She covers its yearly migration, and its diet of 30 million tiny krill in just a day. Undulating bold text provides auxiliary facts that complement the main story. Effective use of shrinking and expanding typeface and the inclusion of two human observers accentuate the proportional vastness of both the creature and its ocean. This unassuming book is teeming with new discoveries upon each rereading.