Breathe

Overview

Take a deep breath and dive into a day in the life of a baby whale, told with luminous illustrations and spare text, with a fresh twist on a timeless message.

Swim! Play all day. Breathe.

This simply told story follows a young whale on a journey of discovery as he experiences his first day at sea on his own! He swims, explores, and makes friends in his marine habitat. After a day of independence, this little whale delights in returning home to ...

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Overview

Take a deep breath and dive into a day in the life of a baby whale, told with luminous illustrations and spare text, with a fresh twist on a timeless message.

Swim! Play all day. Breathe.

This simply told story follows a young whale on a journey of discovery as he experiences his first day at sea on his own! He swims, explores, and makes friends in his marine habitat. After a day of independence, this little whale delights in returning home to his mother. Young readers will be drawn to Scott Magoon’s reassuring story of adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Magoon (The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot!) rejoices in the life of a young beluga whale, focusing on images of serenity and encouragement over educational aims or warnings of environmental danger. By alternating underwater scenes with commands to breathe, Magoon provides an immediate sense of how the pace and scale of a whale’s life differs from that of a human. “Breathe, little whale!” he begins, as the smiling beluga, seen next to its mother, lets out a puff of watery spray. Magoon’s digital illustrations add piquant touches of special-effects magic: trails of sparkly bubbles follow the diving whales in the icy-blue water, the depths of a vertical spread glow with a bioluminescent green, tendrils of sound curl out from the small whale to fill the ocean (“Listen to the sea. Sing”). Arctic animals and fish dot the landscape, and mother is always nearby: “Most of all, love... be loved.” It’s a pleasure simply to enjoy the beluga’s existence, though readers should readily recognize that Magoon’s directives to “make new friends” and “find another way up” apply to them, too. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
A little whale is encouraged by his mother to explore the ocean by playing, swimming, and taking time to just breathe. He dives deep and makes new friends. He has a pleasant time meeting a school of little fish and swimming among chunks of ice. He listens to the sea and sings, and when a bear is above the hole in the ice, his mother shows him how to find another way up. He learns that the most important thing is to love and be loved. He dreams, sleeps, and breathes. Large simple illustrations covering two pages each show the deep blues of the sea in contrast to the white colors of the whales and the ice in the water. The lovely illustrations create an illusion of the vast waters with a calm and relaxing appearance. This gentle story would be a pleasant book to read aloud to children at bedtime. Beginning readers could read the short and simple sentences. This book is a good choice for schools and libraries. Reviewer: Vicki Foote; Ages 4 to 8.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-02-19
A very young white whale swims into the wider world of the arctic seas, celebrating first adventures of the very young. Magoon's digital art captures the colors and crisp, airy light of the Arctic setting; cartoon lines and wide eyes present creatures above and under the ice as friendly, rounded and smiling. Even the polar bear—seen against the sky through an ice hole as a dark shadow, possibly threatening—is fairly benign. The little whale (clearly a baby beluga but not named as such) is doing the work that toddlers do—exploring the world with mama nearby. The few words of the text speak both to whale baby and, by extension, to the listener: "Play all day // and swim, / and swim, / and swim. // Breathe." This last ("Breathe") appears on a double-page spread in which the young whale is surrounded by the vast sea, snowy mountains, and a pale, bright sun. Then a dive changes the palette from the pale blues and whites of the surface through greeny yellows and finally to dark: Here, what was perhaps an arctic whaler, stilled and slightly ghostly, sits on the seafloor. The simple adventure concludes with an anthropomorphic yet welcome invitation: "Most of all, love / and be loved." Richly composed and sweetly appealing—just right for baby storytimes as well as one-to-one sharing. (Picture book. 6 mos.-3)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442412583
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 271,564
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Magoon is the illustrator of many books for young readers, including Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer; Kara LaReau’s Rabbit and Squirrel and Ugly Fish, which was a CCBC Blue Ribbon winner; The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster by Alice Flaherty, which was named to the 2009–2010 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List; Otto Grows Down by Michael Sussman; and Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. He is also both the author and illustrator of Hugo & Miles; I’ve Painted Everything; Mystery Ride; and The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot, which Kirkus Reviews called “entertaining and clever—and that’s no lie.” The art director at a major children’s publisher, he lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons. Visit him at ScottMagoon.com.

Scott Magoon is the illustrator of many books for young readers, including Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer; Kara LaReau’s Rabbit and Squirrel and Ugly Fish, which was a CCBC Blue Ribbon winner; The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster by Alice Flaherty, which was named to the 2009–2010 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List; Otto Grows Down by Michael Sussman; and Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. He is also both the author and illustrator of Hugo & Miles; I’ve Painted Everything; Mystery Ride; and The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot, which Kirkus Reviews called “entertaining and clever—and that’s no lie.” The art director at a major children’s publisher, he lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons. Visit him at ScottMagoon.com.

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