Jo Weaver, Little Whale
Published 2018 by Hodder Children’s Books, 36p
Gray whales have the longest migration known for a mammal. They travel almost 20,000 km every year, from south where they breed to the Arctic seas to reach their feeding grounds. It is a long, dangerous, exhausting journey, so beautifully captured by Jo Weaver in Little Whale.
Magnificent creatures, the grey whales find themselves weak and exposed during their travel when they need to resist the vastness of the ocean and the threat of ships and orcas.
Created as a dialogue between a mother and her young, innocent calf, the story follows the two during their migration. The concept of home is not yet very well understood by the young whale who believes that every good-looking space might be a place to settle.
A great forest beneath them drifted with the tide.
“What’s home?” wondered Little Whale. “Maybe this is it?”
But Grey Whale guided her forward.
The travel is an opportunity for the little whale to discover the diversity of the ocean and to meet new creatures.
Together they travelled mile after mile under vast midnight skies. Through seas that shimmered and danced.
Sometimes scared and tired, the little whale will look for its mother’s protection and reassurance until the sound of whale songs confirms them the proximity of their family.
A story about nature and family, about the need to have a home and all the effort implied to create a home, Little Whale is a stunning story with amazing illustrations. Using charcoal drawings and shades of blue, Jo Weaver beautifully describes the majesty of the ocean, the tenderness of a mother and the curiosity of a child.
Complement Little Whale with Jenni Desmond’s Blue Whale, a meditative nonfiction picture book that celebrates the largest living creature on our planet.