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|Boy and the whale|
Author: Gerstein, Mordicai
A boy defies his father's instructions and sets out to free a whale caught in their tangled fishing net.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.40
Points: .5 Quiz: 193657
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.80
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 72684
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/17)
School Library Journal (10/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/11/17)
The Hornbook (00/09/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/01/2017 Abelardo and his father make their living fishing, and their net is indispensable. When the child notices a whale tangled in their net, he and his father investigate. The man thinks practically: how will they make a living without a net? The boy thinks empathically: how can they save the creature? Abelardo defies his parent’s order and boats out to see if he can help. When the huge mammal looks into the boy’s eyes, a connection is forged, and the boy attempts the dangerous task of cutting away the net. The gray of the whale is repeated in the netting and a nearby rocky island. Ribbons of various colors in the wide-open sky—blue, green, teal—are reflected in the vast ocean. When the whale makes its first joyful vertical leap out of the sea, fins flared out at his side, the child’s posture is virtually identical, and their joint elation is exhilarating. Gerstein has captured an extraordinary connection between the natural and human worlds that will be long remembered after the last page is turned. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2017 Gr 1–5— As the sun rises, a boy sees something big out in the sea—a whale. The boy Abelardo and his fisherman father ride their panga out to the whale who is caught in their fishing net. Pragmatic Papa is concerned about his net, but his son wants to save the whale. Back on shore, the boy's conscience tells him he must at least try to help the animal. He rides the panga back. He dives and cuts the net, dives and cuts, until the whale finally breaks free, reveling with joy. When Abelardo returns to shore his father awaits, hands on hips. With a hug, Papa commends his boy for following his heart to do something foolish yet brave. The first-person narrative balances action and dialogue that are both casual and filled with a gentle gravity. Gerstein's storytelling is simple yet effective. The story provides readers with the right amount of information, allowing them to easily understand the subtleties under the surface of Abelardo's relationship with his father. The mixed-media illustrations are dominated by ocean blues, creamy sun-dappled yellows, and the dignified dark gray whale. Gerstein explores light and shadow in the atmospheric and detailed images grounded in strong compositions and beautiful line work. The specific location remains unnamed; however Abelardo's Spanish name, the characters' brown skin, and the coastal setting point to a Latin American locale. According to the publisher's website, this story was inspired by a real-life video of a whale's rescue. VERDICT This beautifully illustrated story with universal themes is a definite first purchase for libraries.— Amy Seto Forrester, Denver Public Library - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.