Following Papa's Song

Overview

“Papa?”asked Little Blue.

“Are we going very far?”

“Yes, Little Blue. We will travel farther

than we have ever gone before.”

As two whales swim together through the big ocean, Little Blue has many questions for Papa, especially ones about the long migration. How will they know the way? Will he be able to keep up? What will they see along the...

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Overview

“Papa?”asked Little Blue.

“Are we going very far?”

“Yes, Little Blue. We will travel farther

than we have ever gone before.”

As two whales swim together through the big ocean, Little Blue has many questions for Papa, especially ones about the long migration. How will they know the way? Will he be able to keep up? What will they see along the way?

Papa has answers for all these questions, but Little Blue remains curious as they begin their journey. What could be down below, where they can’t see? The answer is a magical world and Little Blue is enchanted . . .  until there is only darkness surrounding the young whale.  But if Little Blue is quiet and listens, can Little Blue hear Papa’s song?

Filled with the wonders of the ocean and the comfort of a father’s presence, Following Papa’s Song is a heartwarming story to be read again and again.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/27/2014
When the whales make the long migration to their summer feeding ground, first-timer Little Blue is full of questions that betray his anxieties about the journey. His huge, even-tempered Papa is the picture of reassurance, explaining that whales have been migrating “for years upon years,” and even if Little Blue gets lost (which he does, carried away by the beauty of the ocean and a burgeoning sense of adventure), he need only listen for Papa’s special song. In this thematic companion to 2012’s Meet Me at the Moon, Marino’s writing is solemn and earnest (“Papa’s voice echoed across the sea, through the liquid light and deep into the mysterious black”), but her gouache illustrations are exuberant and gorgeous, with a parchmentlike texture that captures dappling sunlight, murky depths, and the endless energy of the current. This visual eloquence carries over to her portrayal of father and son, as wells: even though the whales are seen almost exclusively in profile, their soulful eyes exude unconditional love and a faith in the forces of nature. Ages 3–5. Agent: Deborah Warren, East/West Literary Agency. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR FOLLOWING PAPA'S SONG:

"...exuberant and gorgeous..." —Publishers Weeklystarred review

"...a heartwarming reminder of how children learn to trust and listen for papas’ songs in our lives." —School Library Journalstarred review

"This beautifully executed book about the bond between father and child that can be as deep as the darkest sea and powerful enough to help navigate in times of trouble will resonate with readers both young and old."  —Kirkusstarred review

"A gorgeous, comforting book that provides a lovely counterpoint to Marino’s Meet Me at the Moon (2012)." —Booklist

PRAISE FOR GIANNA'S FIRST BOOK, MEET ME AT THE MOON:
 
"Marino's breathtaking panoramas make an already powerful story sing." —Publishers Weeklystarred review
 
"The textured mixed-media art paired with the flowing text elevates this title above most missing-mama fare ... Radiating warmth and comfort, this distinguished title strikes home." —Kirkusstarred review
 
"Heartfelt and sincere, yet never cloying, this will work well one on one or in story hours." —Booklist

PRAISE FOR GIANNA'S SECOND BOOK, TOO TALL HOUSES:

"The animals are full of heartfelt emotions, from anger and frustration to happy contentment...This story about friendship and togetherness contains a great lesson without being didactic or moralizing and should be welcome in most collections." —School Library Journalstarred review

"The well-turned, dialogue-rich narrative complements the sunny visuals, making this an excellent choice for one-on-one or group read-alouds...Another winner for rising star Marino."  —Kirkusstarred review

“…a story of friendship that youngsters can understand and relate to.” —Library Media Connection

School Library Journal
★ 03/01/2014
PreS-Gr 3—Little Blue, a young humpback whale, is worried about his first long migration up the coast, and he is scared he will be separated from Papa in the big ocean. As with human families on adventures, Little Blue has many questions that need to be answered and needs to be reassured that everything will be fine. What will they see on their journey? Can Little Blue keep up? How will they know the way? What is down below in the dark areas? Little Blue continues to ask questions, the most pressing of which is "what if I get lost?" Papa reminds him to listen for his song as they travel. But can Little Blue hear Papa's song? Stunning artwork takes readers into the lush, inviting waters filled with marine life swimming effortlessly across the pages. The blend of text and vivid mixed-media illustrations make this original story a heartwarming reminder of how children learn to trust and listen for papas' songs in our lives. This is a story for all ages to enjoy. What a wonderful way to use science in the lower grades. A top choice for any library.—Janene Corbin, Rosebank Elementary School, Nashville, TN
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-03-17
A young whale awaits the call for his first migration with a mix of concern and anticipation, but Papa's strong reassuring presence and sage advice make for an exhilarating journey. Little Blue is eager to know how far they will travel, how they will know where to go and how to swim so quickly as they await the signal from other whales. Papa's wise replies teach as well as comfort. When Little Blue hears a sound from afar, Papa signals for them to begin the long swim to their summer feeding ground. "Papa's voice echoed across the sea, through the liquid light and deep into the mysterious black." Marino's text has a lyrical quality that pairs beautifully with the magical mixed-media illustrations created with gouache and textured paper. By varying the perspective in the spreads, she conveys the vastness of the ocean to children. On one, the father and child look rather small moving through a great expanse of turquoise blues, while on another, a close-up of the whales' faces emphasizes the warm intimacy between the pair. Dramatic changes in color signal emotional shifts in the story. This beautifully executed book about the bond between father and child that can be as deep as the darkest sea and powerful enough to help navigate in times of trouble will resonate with readers both young and old. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670013159
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/3/2014
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 363,670
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Gianna Marino spent her early years galloping horses through Golden Gate Park and writing stories of her adventures. She has traveled throughout the world and now lives in Northern California, where she writes and illustrates full time. Visit Gianna at giannamarino.com.

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