Written by Julie Flogliano,
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Published by Roaring Book Press, May 2013
Themes: patience, whale-watching
If you want to see a whale you will need a window.
A story of sweet and simple practical tips on how a child might become an adept whale-watcher and the virtue of the wait! This includes what you will need, such as time for wondering and an ocean. But the little boy also receives gentle warnings about distractions one might need to avoid, like the lure of sweet pink roses or the temptation to cloud-gaze.
Why I like this book:
Waiting is hard for an adult. For a little child waiting can feel interminable. This soothing, lyrical language, gentle rhythm and perfect pacing make this a great choice for bedtime or a quiet moment in the day. The illustrations and text breathe patience and an invitation to astute observation even for little eyes. Through all of the potential distractions (even the pirates are alluring) the reader is constantly centered on the clear goal of seeing a whale.
The illustrations are light and filled with wonder and depth. You see the perspective already on the choice on the front cover of making the ocean so high and vast! The dog and bird are also delightful companions to the little boy on each spread. Sometimes I am more drawn to either the words or the pictures in a picture book, in this case, I love both equally. The illustrations are created with pencil and linoleum print techniques, and peppered with humor, whimsy and depth. The last two pages with the barnacle-encrusted whale swimming right under the boy’s boat and then just the tip of the whale emerging are worth the wait and you may wonder if they had been there, ‘unseen’, all along.
This is truly a talented paring of author and illustrator and I will stick my neck out and say I think this picture book may well win some awards.
A predicting activity – if you want to see a (tiger, hawk……) you would need to……. and be careful to avoid…………….
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.