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Nicola Davies says, "Now there is so much man-made noise in the ocean that the blue whales are having trouble hearing one another. Unlike humpbacks, their booming hums are infrequent, so it is always exciting when we locate one."

Nick Maland says, "I have illustrated for newspapers and magazines over the years, but it was not until my daughter was born that
I turned to children's books!"


K-Gr 3‘Small human figures make occasional comic appearances in the pictures, but this handsome slim volume is an informative introduction to the life of "the biggest creature that has ever lived on Earth." In an effective opening double-page scene, a young man and woman reach up toward an elephant and a giraffe, all of them standing next to the tail end of the whale, demonstrating its enormous size. Davies offers simple, lively descriptions of the blue whale's body, eating habits, child care, migration, and means of communication. "Yet, the blue whale may not be as lonely as it seems. Because sometimes it makes a hum‘a hum so loud and so low that it can travel for thousands of miles through the seas to reach other blue whales." Maland's cross-hatched pen-and-ink drawings, washed in soft tones of blue, gray, aqua, and orange, sometimes appear as smaller, blocked scenes, but more often they fill the double-page spreads with bits of caption gracefully curving around related picture elements. A simple index appears at the front of the book, doubling as a table of contents. Some libraries may assign this to the picture-book shelves, where it will be read as a true-life story, but it will serve equally well as nonfiction. It's a pleasing choice for reading aloud or for classroom use.‘Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

Two whale experts communicate huge enthusiasm for their subject...light-hearted [and] fact-filled...Varied typefaces add further verve. Delicate ink crosshatching with watery washes both emphasize the whale's enormity and show it to be dwarfed by the vastness of the ocean.
--Publishers Weekly

[T]he blue whale gets an up-close look in this artfully composed study. Zoological facts are phrased to suit the book's inviting picture book format...This book will definitely satisfy youngsters' curiosity about 'the biggest creature that has ever lived on Earth!'

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