Peter Carnavas, Blue Whale Blues, New Frontier, 1 Sept 2015, 32pp., $24.99, (hbk), ISBN: 9781925059410
Whale has the “Blue Whale Blues”: his bike is wet and upside down, he doesn’t know where to put his helmet and overall he feels miserable. Luckily his friend Penguin is around to help with all these puzzles. It’s hard to stop a Blue Whale feeing depressed, but helpful Penguin manages it. When Turtle arrives on a real bike Whale realises his shopping trolley isn’t a bike and he would need legs to ride one. This revelation makes Whale laugh as he understands he doesn’t have legs and he doesn’t need them. Instantly his blues are lifted away as humour banishes all sadness.
Peter Carnavas has created an engaging picture book using large black text on glossy paper with blue or white background. The illustrations are a mixture of watercolours, cut outs and collage which bring the ocean creatures beautifully to life with many close ups of Whale’s sad and happy expressions. With its underlying theme of how the support of friends and acceptance of our reality can help overcome depression, Blue Whale Blues humorously addresses an important issue that is often overlooked in young children. Readers between the ages of three to six will enjoy this simple and attractive picture book which comes with a downloadable track featuring the author reading his text and singing a fun tune to accompany the story.
Reviewed by Grace Nolan