Trapped – Perfect Picture Book Friday & Endangered Species Day

Spread the love

22748011Title: Trapped, A Whale’s Rescue

Author: Robert Burleigh

Illustrator: Wendell Minor

Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2015

Ages: 4-8

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.


© Wendell Minor

© Wendell Minor

© Wendell Minor



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.

This entry was posted in conservation, endangered species, Perfect Picture Book Friday and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Trapped – Perfect Picture Book Friday & Endangered Species Day

  1. Thank you for highlighting one of the perils whales deal with in our oceans, Joanna, and for sharing what looks to be an excellent book. I must read it — whales, especially humpbacks, are very dear to my heart.

  2. Well you and I were connected today in our selections about whales. There are so many hazards for marine wildlife in the ocean. I love Minor’s illustrations, so I must get this book! They are breathtaking!

  3. Great book and great review!

  4. Patricia Nozell says:

    Great choice for Endangered Species Day – just love the illustrations you’ve shared & can’t wait to read the entire book.

  5. Andrea Mack says:

    The language sounds lovely. It’s so wonderful when books include additional information so you can enjoy it on different levels. Thanks for featuring this one – I’m going to look for it.

  6. I found this book at my library last year and enjoyed it so much! My only gripe was that I felt the backstory was the best part. The story was brief but nice, It was the amazing details in the backstory that touched my heart so deeply. It’s a wonderful and powerful rescue tale.

  7. Loved this one too, Joanna, both the story & the art!

  8. There are a number of books about whales out lately. Find such patterns so interesting. I haven’t read this one yet – thanks for the suggestion!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.