Storm Whale

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Sarah Brennan (text),  Jane Tanner (illus.),  Storm Whale,  Allen & Unwin,  June 2017,  32pp.,  $24.99 (hbk),  ISBN: 9781760293642

The movement evident in Jane Tanner’s cover illustration captured my attention immediately; and her illustrations continued to hold me spellbound throughout the story. I especially enjoyed the introduction of colour as urgency developed in the story, and the different perspectives used as the pages turned. This created a sense of grandeur in relation to, not only the size of the whale, but also the mammoth task ahead.

Sarah Brennan’s words are captivating; with their rhyme, rhythm and descriptive detail. For such a simple story of three sisters who come across a whale stranded on the beach, Brennan manages to capture the impact we are able to have on the environment and nature, including the perseverance and commitment required to care for and protect our planet.

The story begins with a dreary feel, a cold day on the beach and a hard day ahead. After working together and dedicating their day to the stranded whale, the sisters are left deflated as they return home to bed; only to wake to a day of success and sunshine. An important message for children to not give up in their determination for a peaceful and friendly world for all living things.

Teachers’ Tips are available on the Allen & Unwin website.

Reviewed by Raquel Mayman

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