Title: Wild Orca, the Oldest, Wisest Whale in the World
Written by: Brenda Peterson
Illustrated by: Wendell Minor
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books, September 2018
Themes: whales, conservation, connection, orcas, wildlife,
On the longest day of summer light.
Mia waits for Granny to join them for Orca Sing.
Here in the misty and magical Some people collect art.
San Juan Islands, people come together
to sing to the Orcas.
Told from the perspective of young Mia and her family on a whale-watching excursion in the San Juan Islands, here is a moving homage to Granny, the world’s oldest known orca. This intimate and informative story celebrates the importance of respecting and protecting wildlife. It also sheds light on communication and family connections in both human and orca communities, all while answering essential questions about how these intelligent animals live.
Why I like this book:
In February of this year, I had the good fortune to visit an author-illustrator friend of mine, Nina Laden, in her beautiful location on Lummi Island just opposite the San Juan islands in the PNW. We spent quite a bit of time combing the beach while Nina regaled me of her close daily connection with the ocean here. With these recent experiences, reading through Wild Orca, I could hear and smell and see this majestic creature, through the vivid naturalistic paintings by Wendell and the sensory textual journey.
This is a moving and tangible celebration of Granny, the world’s oldest Orca, who lived to be 105. The story will appeal to all young animal lovers and conservationists, especially those with a passion for our world’s largest mammal. The author’s description of advanced whale communication reminded me vividly of the level of communication possible between elephants, which I talked about when reviewing “Elephant Scientist.”
Make sure you check out Wendell’s cool end papers.
This would be a great text to use in a unit on animal communication, as mentioned above.
It can also be used to help teach onomatopoeia. (Also see my resources tab for further help on this topic.)
Kidzone whale activities.
15 best places to whale watch in the US, when and where to go.
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.