We had a whale of a time reading and picking out the best books about whales.
Did you know that the largest brain on Earth belongs to a whale? A sperm whale’s brain can weigh 9kg, 6 times larger than a human beings. Whales are the largest animals that have ever lived on earth and are the largest animals that live in the ocean. Sadly though, commercial whaling, where whales are hunted for their meat, oil and blubber, are quickly making some whale species extinct. Let’s find out more in these books about whales.
I rarely choose wordless books, but these watercolour paintings are so powerful in showing the whale’s turmoil and the humans’ determination.
A commercial fisherman and his son collect fish from large nets thrown from their boat. Whilst sailing, the boy notices the whale and realised it is entangled with their fishing lines. After the boy’s urging and the fisherman’s tussle between ignoring the issue to get back to shore with their spoils, the man dives into the ocean to free the creature.
The lack of words is what I imagine the depths of the sea to be like… silent, yet potent and filled with life.
The afterword discusses whale entanglement, stressing broader issues of human-led environmental damage that come from commercial fishing and thoughtless waste.
This compelling tale is a great start to appreciation of these magnificent creatures and initiates discussions with your child about marine conservation.
Wednesday is a whale which lives in a fishbowl, right smack in the middle of a city. Cars rush around her and people hurry past as she floats nonchalantly about. This is the only home she has ever known.
When she breaches high enough out of her bowl, Wednesday can see it… a calm bit of blue off in the distance which makes her heart leap as well. One day, a girl tells Wednesday “You belong in the sea,” the whale starts to wonder, what is the sea?
Readers will cheer – and choke up – when, one day, Wednesday leaps higher than ever before and sets in motion a breathtaking chain of events that carries her to her rightful home. Touching and ultimately uplifting, this a story about a lonely creature longing to be free… and longing to know where she belongs.
Noi and his father live in a house by the sea. His father works hard as a fisherman and Noi often has only their six cats for company. So, when he finds a baby whale washed up on the beach after a storm, Noi excitedly takes it home to care for it. He tries to keep his new friend a secret, but there’s only so long you can keep a whale in the bathtub without your dad finding out.
Noi is eventually persuaded that the whale has to go back to the sea where it belongs. Even though he can’t keep it, the whale helps his father realise Nori’s loneliness.
This story tugs at the heart strings and gives scope for children to discuss feelings of loneliness and saying goodbye to something you love.
What words do you think of, when you think of whales? These three books about whales depict whales of different sizes, but all with their own allure and strength.
What’s the first step you are taking towards a more sustainable lifestyle?
Featured books are suitable for children from 5 years and up.
All books featured are available in Singapore’s public libraries and in the bookshops linked.