Title: Trapped, A Whale’s Rescue
Author: Robert Burleigh
Illustrator: Wendell Minor
Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2015
Themes: endangered species, fishing nets, conservation, marine life, humpback whales, animal rescue, California
The huge humpback whale dips and dives.
Her sleek black sides shimmering,
she spy hops, lob tails, flashes her flukes.
In the icy waters near San Francisco on December 11, 2005, after a crabber’s fishing net was left in the waters of the Pacific ocean, a humpback whale, swimming and feeding on krill became entangled in the large nets. The ropes were cutting into her mouth and wrapping around her fins making it impossible for her to swim free and breathe normally. When a rescue boat and a convoy of divers arrive to help the struggling humpback, a realistic and moving encounter bridges the human and aquatic worlds.
Why I like this book:
As my blog readers will know endangered species and Wendell Minor’s art are two of my loves! This dramatic story, with glorious paintings, of the rescue of a humpback whale entangled in fishing nets and lines is based on an actual event. The dangers, man’s failings, this majestic creature’s predicament and the collaboration in order to rescue are all poetically and majestically portrayed in the text and artwork of this picture book.
The illustrations are so realistic that the reader will become immersed in the Pacific with covers and whale. They depict with tenderness just how scared the whale must have been when the nets restricted her ability to swim and breathe.
Three full pages are devoted at the back of this book to the true story, information about rescuing whales, more about humpbacks, and a wonderful list of books and websites for extended reading, making this a terrific resource for classrooms at any time of year, not just Endangered Species Day.
The illustrator, Wendell Minor, kindly sent me two additional spreads from TRAPPED.
Every year on the third Friday in May (and throughout the month), zoos, aquariums, parks, botanic gardens, wildlife refuges, museums, schools, community centers, conservation groups and other organizations throughout the country hold tours, special speaker presentations, exhibits, children’s activities and more to celebrate Endangered Species Day. Find an endangered species day event near you.
Learn More about Endangered and Threatened Species:
NWF – Protecting Wildlife
NWF – Endangered Species Act
USFW – Endangered and Threatened Species
Kidsplanet – Protection of Endangered Species
7 Easy Steps to take at school Save The Whales National Geographic Humpback Whales
Also, don’t miss the interview I did with the illustrator, Wendell Minor.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.