Jonathan London Baby Whale's Journey

ISBN 13: 9780811857611

Baby Whale's Journey

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9780811857611: Baby Whale's Journey

Off the Pacific coast of Mexico, a whale is born. Swimming beside Mama Whale, and surrounded by a protective pod, Baby Whale begins to grow and learn. She dives in the deep dark through swirling galaxies of luminous fish. She encounters dangerous orcas and a giant squid. Soon Baby can leap and blow, and comes to know all the ways of the whales and the sea.

Continuing the nature series that includes The Eyes of Gray Wolf, Condor's Egg and Honeypaw and Lightfoot, Jonathan London's simple, poetic prose captures the tenderness and drama in the life of the endangered sperm whale. Jon Van Zyle's dynamic illustrations reveal the grace and magnificence of these mighty mammals. An informative afterword and a reader's guide are included.

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About the Author:

Jonathan London is the author of more than 70 books for children. He lives in Northern California.

Jon Van Zyle has illustrated many books for children. His art has garnered him numerous honors. He lives in Alaska.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3-A mother sperm whale mates, gives birth, and raises her baby as part of the pod. London introduces the animals' living and eating habits and sources of danger to both mother and offspring. In contrast to the brief, clipped informational texts of The Eyes of Gray Wolf (1993) and Honey Paw and Lightfoot (1995, both Chronicle), this book is written in a descriptive, almost poetic style that is less accessible to younger readers than earlier titles in the series. ("Sixteen moons pass,/and the one/who stayed behind-/becomes two./The new life/slips smoothly/from the warmth/of its mother's body/into the coolness/of the ocean.") More detailed information in a two-page afterword explains how the species became endangered and what is being done to ensure its survival, especially in the U.S. A two-page "Reader's Guide" offers topics for discussion and suggestions of related activities along with some facts about sperm whales. Van Zyle's realistic, double-page acrylic paintings clearly show the skin texture and size of the huge mammals and the vastness and depth of their ocean habitat. However, several pictures fail to illustrate the action of the text (e.g., the pod safeguarding the baby from a pod of orcas or the whales feasting on a giant squid). Although this title is somewhat less successful than others in the series, it still serves as a useful introduction to sperm whales.
Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Jonathan London, Jon Van Zyle (Illustrator)
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