Welcome Home, Whales by Christina Booth

Welcome Home, Whales by Christina Booth. Blue Dot Kids, 2021. 9781733121286

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? A young boy hears the call of a right whale in the harbor near his home. He feels that she is telling him her stories of joy, sadness, fear and sorrow. He worries for her future. When she surfaces fully with a young calf, there are two voices, and the boy feels hope for her continued existence.

Ethereal hand-painted art in misty blues conveys a dreamlike communication between child and whale. Views from the human standpoint, as well as from a gull’s eye and below the surface of the water show interconnectedness with humans and other creatures. Poetic language describes the boy’s concern for her safety. This is a lovely, gentle call for concern for human interference with whales’ existence. Older children will feel a call to action, especially after reading the informative back matter which details the species’ habitat, threats and other relevant information.

Anything you didn’t like about it? Children under 5 yrs may be confused as to the poetic versus the factual.

To whom would you recommend this book? A lovely read aloud or read alone for K-3 classrooms, for units on endangered species.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: June 22, 2021

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