Ann Russell (text), Lara Frizzell (illus.), Little Truff and the Whales, Ann Russell Books, 2 Oct 2017, 32pp., $21.00 (pbk), ISBN: 9780473367756
Written from the perspective of Little Truff the dog, Litte Truff and the Whale takes the reader on a journey to rescue a whale a family caught in a fishing net. They call the Department of Conservation (DOC) who perform the dangerous task of cutting the net and freeing the whale. The story addresses some common misconceptions about how to rescue a whale, and carries the key messages of safety for the rescuers and respect for the whales.
Little Truff and The Whales is aimed at raising reader’s consciousness about marine wild life, especially the whales, of whom many species face extinction. It contains a heartfelt conservation message, and the final pages of the book contain further information about how the New Zealand Department of Conservation saves entangled whales with diagrams, photos and QR links to online videos. The author has worked closely with the DOC to ensure all details are correct.
The colourful and realistic illustrations help to tell the story in a very visual way. The prose is written in alternate (ABAB) rhyme, which does feel a little over the top at times, but my four-year-old daughter seemed to enjoy it and find it engaging. She liked the very factual and concrete storyline which she talked about afterwards and incorporated in her play. Recommended for children 3-6 years of age.
Reviewed by Rebecca Blakeney