You slip over the side of your boat, descending deep into the dark realm of the Earth’s largest creature. Then the whale starts to sing, just feet away from you. You record the sounds, hoping one day to understand their language. Their music is a rare glimpse of this majestic mammal’s unknown world. Photographer Flip Nicklin brings you face to face with whales as they communicate, nurse their young, and surface dramatically for air. Meet these intelligent, social creatures in their natural habitat; learn of the ...
You slip over the side of your boat, descending deep into the dark realm of the Earth’s largest creature. Then the whale starts to sing, just feet away from you. You record the sounds, hoping one day to understand their language. Their music is a rare glimpse of this majestic mammal’s unknown world. Photographer Flip Nicklin brings you face to face with whales as they communicate, nurse their young, and surface dramatically for air. Meet these intelligent, social creatures in their natural habitat; learn of the different kinds of whales, from humpbacks to belugas; discover how we can aid their recovery from years of overhunting; and how we can protect their environment.
Most young people would consider themselves lucky if they could see the distant spray of mist from a whale's blowhole way out on the ocean's surface. But National Geographic photographers Flip and Linda Nicklin have had such close encounters with whales that they could feel their bodies vibrate from whale song. This book, part of the National Geographic's "Face to Face" series, describes close encounters with many kinds of whales. It is packed full of information and amazing photos. Many pages feature intriguing facts about whales. For example, readers will learn that the eye of a humpback is as big as a dinner plate and the iris as big as an orange. They will also learn that, like hippos, deer and cows, whales evolved from hoofed, meat-eating mammals. The well-written text includes information about whale biology, physiology, behavior, and migration, as well as details of the whale's habitat: the oceans. How humankind—or individuals, like the young readers of this book—can help the oceans remain healthy for whales is the focus of a big portion of the book. With its glorious illustrations, this is an exciting read for readers from middle school to adult. It also contains a glossary, an index, and lists of books and web sites for further study. Reviewer: Judy Crowder
- Susan Allen
Mention of this publisher brings to mind gorgeous pictures, poignant text, and impeccable research, attributes that are certainly found when browsing this series. Each animal is introduced through photographs that are supported by descriptions of their physical characteristics, diet, family life, habitat, and relations with human beings. A map denotes where the animal can be found in the world and possible dangers to their populace. By coming Face to Face with a Whale, the reader learns about the identifying features of whale's flukes, or tails. For those who do not know these terms or others in the text, a glossary clarifies. Illustrations of various flukes further demonstrate the identification of whales. Other intriguing facts about whales abound, and when the reader's interest is piqued, as it is sure to be, the Find Out More section gives suggestions for books, articles, and Web sites. Whether young readers want to learn about these creatures or about caterpillars, frogs, grizzly bears, lions, polar bears, or wolves, they will be enthralled with what can be found in these books. The eye-catching format and short sentences closely linked to photos will make the most reluctant reader eager to check out all the titles. Reviewer: Susan Allen
This addition to National Geographic's Face to Face with Animals series introduces whales. Opening with photographer Nicklin's first research encounter nearly 30 years ago, the text goes on to describe physical characteristics, family lives and eating methods, and to touch on issues concerning their ocean environment and human encounters from hunting to whale-watching. Extensive photo captions add intriguing facts about specific species. The photographs are the main attraction here, beginning with the astonishingly close-up humpback face on the front cover and title page. Curiously, although the author makes the point that whale species can be identified by the shape of their flukes, captions for the two photos that show only flukes fail to indicate the species. As in other books in the series, the endmatter includes sections on How You Can Help (environmental protection and adopt-a-whale programs), It's Your Turn (doing research) and Facts at a Glance, as well as a glossary, suggestions for further reading and web exploration, index and research and photo notes. Complements the authors' Face to Face with Dolphins (2007). (Nonfiction. 7-10)