Review of Whale of Wonder
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The Children’s Book Review
Whale of Wonder
Written by Marie-Paule Mahoney
Illustrated by Ginger Triplett
Ages 4-8 | 42 Pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press Inc | ISBN: 978-1-9772-2825-3
What to Expect: Natural history, environmental awareness, animal rights.
Notch has lots of questions for his mama, Tahlequah. For example, why can’t he understand what other orca are saying if they are not in his pod? Why is Grandma so skinny? Why is there not enough food for everyone in the pod? Why did Mama carry his baby sister on her nose for so long? And why, oh why, do humans want to kidnap baby orca and dump trash into their home, the sea? In her patient answers to Notch’s questions, Tahlequah not only reveals the devastation humans have wrought on marine life but also the sophistication, complexity, and intelligence of orca whale culture.
Whale of Wonder is a beautifully composed volume that narrates the true story of the mother whale, Tahlequah, who was documented carrying her dead baby on her nose for 17 days in 2018. From the moving quotation by 13th century Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi, with which the volume opens, to the gentle washes of watercolor and digital imagery that illustrate the story, the book emphasizes our connection to nature and the responsibility we have to care for it. The narrative itself is accompanied by a factual afterword, detailing the lifestyles of real orca whales and the challenges to survival they face from human activity and climate change.
Links to the coverage of Tahlequah’s story in the media are also provided, allowing readers to learn more about these magnificent creatures. Moving and inspirational, this is a great volume for young nature lovers and activists.
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About the Author
Marie-Paule Mahoney was born and grew up in Brittany, on the west coast of France and now lives in the foothills of New York State. Before retirement, she taught French in a Waldorf School over 20 years, as well as at the State University of New York. Her professional career includes the publication of The French Connection and as a co-author of En Français. In the last few years, she has taken a greater interest in nature, wildlife and conservation. She co-authored Molly and Babou and wrote Coco. Tahlequah’s heroic journey inspired her to write Whale of Wonder.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This is a sponsored, non-biased review of Whale of Wonder, by Marie-Paule Mahoney. Learn more about getting a book review …
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